‘Perpetual Motion’ Dance Event Gets Bigger Stage, Includes Return Of 23-Minute ‘Sierra’ Piece
The Texas A&M dance program’s annual “Perpetual Motion” performance gets a big change of scenery this year as part of Venture, the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts’ weeklong celebration of student work from April 25-29.
With Venture events in and around the Rudder Theatre Complex, “Perpetual Motion” moves into Rudder Auditorium for the first time, after previous years in the Black Box Theater in the Physical Education Activity Program Building. The event is April 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $6 for students, seniors and military, available at the MSC Box Office.
Carisa Armstrong, associate professor and dance program director, said the venue’s lighting capabilities and stage space allow for more flexibility in the technical production side.
Brenna Street, a junior dance science major who will dance in four pieces and choreographed one that she also presented at the American College Dance Association, called the change in venue “a whole new level, a whole new scale.”
“So we’ve been working on really projecting, using our space and being expansive in all of our movements,” she said.
“Perpetual Motion,” now in its 15th year, will feature works by faculty members, students and guest artist Jane Weiner from Hope Stone, Inc. in Houston. Students will perform a piece titled “Sierra,” a 23-minute dance created by Armstrong and Christine Bergeron, clinical professor and associate dean for academic affairs. The piece stretches back several years, and dance students performed it in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017.
“The reason we decided to restage that work is because it has a really beautiful spatial orientation with dancers moving swiftly through space, changing formations frequently and interweaving between each other,” Armstrong said. “Given the large space of the Rudder Auditorium stage, it allows us to be able to take those patterns and put them on an even larger scale.”
The original “Sierra” featured a dozen student performers, and more have been added for this edition. The cast has been working on it since September, while also preparing for performances of “But Where There’s Hope There’s Life,” a dance experience based on the Holocaust that the students have performed at Texas high schools this spring and also at the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival.
“It’s very challenging, not only the movements but also stamina-wise,” Street said of “Sierra.” “You’re onstage almost the entire 23 minutes. You just have to tell yourself that you’re not tired and keep going. We’ve been working all year long on this, so I think all of us are really excited to show it.”
Anna Jones, senior dance science major, said her fourth “Perpetual Motion” performance is a special one, calling it bittersweet to enjoy her final event while knowing she’ll feel sad when it’s over.
“It’s really nice to see this program get recognition and dance on a much bigger stage, both literally and figuratively,” she said. “Our professors, Christine Bergeron and Carisa Armstrong, and all of the faculty — they work so hard. So to put it on such a big stage and give this opportunity is really exciting, both for us as dancers and also for them.”
Details: “Perpetual Motion” is April 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Rudder Auditorium. Tickets are $12 and $6 for students, seniors and military, available at the MSC Box Office.
Photo: The original cast of ‘Sierra,’ including soloist Kali Taft Johnson. The piece stretches back several years, and dance students performed it in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017. Photo by Diane Bedford, clinical associate professor.
Introducing Venture, the inaugural celebration of creativity from students in the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts. Join us April 25-29, when the sights and sounds of these talented artists will be on display at venues throughout the Rudder complex on the Texas A&M University campus.
The dance program’s annual Perpetual Motion performance will be in Rudder Auditorium for the first time. It features works by faculty members, students and guest artist Jane Weiner from Hopestone, Inc. in Houston. Students will perform “Sierra,” a 23-minute dance created by Carisa Armstrong, associate professor and dance program director, and Christine Bergeron, clinical professor and associate dean for academic affairs.
Details: April 27-28 at 7:30 p.m. at Rudder Auditorium. Tickets are $12; $6 for students, seniors and military, available at the MSC Box Office.
The Live Art Student Showcase will feature projects created by students in Seminar in Performance Theory (PERF 460). Works will include encounters with “experiencing live,” experiments in performer/audience relationships, and explorations of the interwoven affective, embodied, cognitive and emotional experience of live performance. The students have been influenced by a wide range of artists and movements, from Dada to Bauhaus, Merce Cunningham and John Cage to Fluxus.
Details: April 27 at 1 p.m. at Rudder Forum.
The “Waste Wear Wearable Arts Runway Show” comes from the Dress in World Culture course (PERF 156), taught by Grace Adinku, which examines the social, psychological and cultural aspects of dress and appearance. Students are creating handcrafted, one-of-a-kind wearable arts dress designs using recyclable waste items including plastic, paper, metal and face masks, as well as clothing and textiles.
Details: April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Rudder Forum. Free.
“Analogue Electronica” is a showcase of composers and performers from the Electronic Music Composition course (PERF 318), taught by Dr. Will Connor. Students are introduced to a variety of analogue electronic instruments and asked to improvise and compose for them to create a final project. The instruments include analogue synthesizers, theremins, no-input mixing boards, step sequencers, Kaossilators and haunted boxes — noise-making devices the students designed and built themselves. The 90-minute concert will feature compositions written and played by the students.
Details: April 25 at 7 p.m. at Rudder Theatre. Free.
The Student Research and Creative Works Symposium will show the wide variety of creativity explored in the various disciplines within the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts.
Details: April 26 at 10 a.m. at Rudder Forum. Free.
“Rhinoceros,” Eugene Ionesco’s play, translated by Derek Prouse, is the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts’ first theater production, and also its first collaboration with Blinn-Bryan Theatre Troupe. It is co-directed by Anne Quackenbush, Texas A&M lecturer, and Greg Wise, Blinn theater instructor. After three shows April 20-22 at Blinn-Bryan Student Center Theatre, “Rhinoceros” comes to Texas A&M as part of Venture.
Details: April 27-29 at 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theater in the Liberal Arts and Arts and Humanities building. Tickets are $5, available at blinn.edu/boxoffice.
Related story: Absurdist Comedy Sparks ‘Rhinoceros’ Collaboration With Blinn
The 30th edition of Viz-a-GoGo is the visualization program’s presentation of curated student work, including an exhibition of digital and traditional flatwork, photography, sculpture and interactive media. A theater screening is held to showcase time-based media, including animated and live-action films, game demos and CG renders. Awards known as “the Vizzies” are announced at the end of the screening, one for each artistic medium and an overall award for best in show.
Details: The exhibition is April 26-28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Rudder Exhibit Hall. Gaming and virtual reality projects will be available to play from 2 to 7 p.m. The screening is April 27 at 7 p.m. at Rudder Theatre. Free.
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