Arts & Humanities

Artists From Around Texas To Showcase Their Work At Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival

The School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts’ dance program hosts the annual event that also stars Texas A&M students. 
By Kacie Ging, Texas A&M University School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts August 23, 2023

A photo of dancers on stage during a performance.
Students from the Texas A&M University dance program will perform during the Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival on Sept. 8 and 9.

Igor Kraguljac Photography


Dance companies and choreographers from around the state will showcase their work at the Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival on Sept. 8 and 9, hosted by the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts’ dance program.

The festival was created in 2007 by Carisa Armstrong, dance program director and associate professor, and Christine Bergeron, associate dean for academic affairs and clinical professor, with the goal of bringing contemporary dance to the community.

“Currently, if our students want to see modern dance, they have to go to Houston, Dallas or Austin,” Armstrong said. “This is the one opportunity that brings the dance to them.”

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Dance Black Box Theater at the Physical Education Activity Program Building (PEAP 207). Tickets are $12 for general admission and $7 for students and seniors, available at the MSC Box Office.

Presenting work this year will be visiting artists Tobaric Atkins-Montana from Houston, Melanie Diaz from Denton, Heather Samuelson from Nacogdoches, Andrew Smith from Huntsville and Sarah Tran from Dallas. A new dance faculty member will also present work: Elijah Gibson’s Houston-based company, Social Movement Contemporary Dance, will perform on Sept. 8. 

“We have a few people that have been involved for a number of years, different artists from the local area, and we’re going to see some new artists this year as well,” Armstrong said. “It’s exciting to be able to share all of that with our community.”

Texas A&M students in the dance program will perform a piece choreographed by Armstrong and Diane Bedford, clinical associate professor and section chair of dance, music and theatre performance. They created the work for the American College Dance Association informal concert, and plan to continue working on it this year, Armstrong said.

The school put out a call for artists for the festival. After gathering video submissions of choreography, a panel of dance faculty and staff selected the works to be presented.

Armstrong said she would like to see the festival expand by offering a venue for screendance as well. A dance film by Tran, founder of TranScend Motion dance company, called “No Rescue Needed” will be featured at the festival in addition to her live choreographic work.

The show will be produced by dance program students, who will gain experience working with Jam Martinez, stage manager, to set light cues and other backstage work. They will also assist the guest artists with props and costumes.

Armstrong said she is hopeful that the festival will grow. New faculty members hired into the dance program will increase awareness, she said, because they are from all over the country, and those connections they bring will be “really helpful for the exposure of the festival itself.”

“As we’re developing this new school, the goal is that this will become a festival that is going to bring in up-and-coming artists from around the nation,” Armstrong said.

Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival: Sept. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dance Black Box Theater, Physical Education Activity Program Building (PEAP 207), 632 Penberthy Blvd. Tickets are $12 general admission; $7 for students and seniors, available at the MSC Box Office.

Media contact: Rob Clark,

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