Texas A&M Dance, Performance Studies Students To Take Part In Lights On! In Downtown Bryan
Students from Texas A&M’s School of Performance, Visualization & Fine Arts will participate in the Lights On! event Nov. 18 in Downtown Bryan, in what will be the school’s first community performance since it began at the start of the fall semester.
Dance science and performance studies students will perform at the event, which kicks off the downtown holiday season. Dance students first took part in Lights On! in 2021.
“People seemed to really like it,” said Carisa Armstrong, dance science program director and associate professor. “I love downtown, and I think it’s such a great community, and we wanted to be part of it again.”
Students, faculty and staff wanted to have a larger and “a bit more spectacular” presence, according to Brooke Griffin, event production manager for the school.
“It’s our first real whole school representation in the Bryan-College Station area,” she said. “We’re excited to put it together and show everybody, ‘Hey, we’re here.’”
Dance students Terra Fiedler, Cally Hall, Grace Haus, Eliza Milner, Giovanna Paulino, Carina Reyes, Erin Scott, Rachel Wilde and Kiko Young will perform three pieces throughout the evening at Gloria Stephan Sale Park. Armstrong said the styles include contemporary, jazz, tap and more visual-based choreography.
Opening ceremony begins
Christmas tree lighting
In keeping with the evening’s theme, the dancers will wear outfits that include lights designed by Rayna Middleton Dexter, instructional associate professor in performance studies. Jeff Watson, theater facility coordinator in performance studies, and his team of student workers constructed three boxes that have remote control LED light strips, which the dancers will dance on and around.
Jennifer Akalina Petuch, instructional assistant professor in dance science, will manage projections on a backdrop screen. Ben Howard, also an instructional assistant professor, created a dance piece that will go with the projections, Armstrong said.
The small ensemble band 70 Degrees, from the school’s performance studies program, will play across the street from the park. Daniel “Dane” Ashley and Pari Dhawan share vocals, alongside Matias Montero (piano), Max Kitchen and Mark Ritchey (guitar), Ben Elliott (bass) and Jonathan Lim (drums). The students play pop and rock music, along with Mariah Carey’s holiday staple “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
The event will be an introduction for community members to the school, Griffin said, and give a glimpse into what the school has to offer.
“I think the more and more we get involved in city events like this it piques people’s interest in the arts and what we have going on here on campus,” she said. “I think it’s a great way to share it with the community, but also let them know they can come on to campus and see our bigger and exciting things that we put together that we spend the whole year or semester working on.”