Creators & Collaborators

Project Leaders: Choreographers

Carisa Armstrong (choreographer), is a Clinical Associate Professor of Dance Science in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. She began working at TAMU in the Fall of 2003 where she met her longtime friend and collaborator, Christine Bergeron. Their choreographic works have been performed throughout the nation in various dance festivals. Internationally, their work was presented at Performatica in Mexico and most recently at the International Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. They currently serve as Artistic Directors of the Brazos Dance Collective (BDC). BDC hosts a regional dance festival, the Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival, bringing modern dance companies from Texas and Oklahoma to the Brazos Valley.  Carisa and Christine have also worked with a number of other artists to create specific projects over the years. In 2007, they collaborated with Igor Kraguljac and “V” Shetti on an evening length work about trains, All Aboard, which was performed locally and at the New York International Fringe Festival.

“My husband and I have had the opportunity to travel to a number of European countries over the years. Our first trip together out of the United States was to Poland. During our visit, we were able to tour Auschwitz-Birkenau. This experience was so moving and enlightening that I left feeling like everyone should have to visit this site. Hate is a dangerous emotion and can lead humans to unspeakable acts. I believe through education and compassion we can overcome the dangerous ideas that are beginning to surface again in our society. As an artist, I feel compelled to create a work that will make people question hurtful rhetoric that is being spread in our society. Never forgetNever again.”

Christine S. Bergeron (choreographer), is a Clinical Professor and the Director of Dance Programs and Initiatives in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. Over the last 20 years, her choreographic work has been performed throughout the nation in various dance festivals. Internationally, her work has been performed at Performatica in Mexico and most recently at the International Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. She has been choreographing with co-choreographer, Carisa Armstrong, since 2003 and collectively they currently serve as Artistic Directors of the Brazos Dance Collective (BDC). BDC hosts a regional dance festival, the Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival, bringing modern dance companies from Texas and Oklahoma to the Brazos Valley.  She has also worked with many of this project’s collaborators.  Through numerous grants, she has worked with Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo on collaborative projects involving wearables and interactive performance over the past 8 years.  She also worked with Igor Kraguljac and “V” Shetti on an evening length work about trains, All Aboard, which was performed locally and at the New York International Fringe Festival.

“This project has been a vision of mine for 15 years. Throughout my life, I have read numerous books (fiction and non-fiction) about the Holocaust.  I continue to search for answers as to how and why something like this happens and am inspired by the hope that many survivors reference as they speak about their experience. Although I am not Jewish, I am a member of a community who was also persecuted during the Holocaust.  I have experienced fear for my personal safety and am unsettled by the current state of our country. People need to be reminded where hate leads.  As I visit Holocaust museums and listen to survivors, I ask myself, “Who would I be?”  Would I be the person that speaks out or the person who remains silent? As an artist, this is my way of standing up and speaking out to say, “This is not ok. Hate is not ok.”  Never forget. Never again.”

 

Project Collaborators

Dr. Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo (visualization) is an interactive artist/researcher focusing on interactive and immersive experiences. Currently, she is an associate professor in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University. Seo received a Ph.D. in Interactive Art and Technology from Simon Fraser University and an MFA in Computer Arts from School of Visual Arts (SVA). Seo has been fascinated by the aesthetic qualities of human experience, the relationships that emerge through interactions, the underlying beauty, and pattern inherent in nature. She utilizes interactive and immersive technologies to enhance the quality of human experience. Her research concentrates on designing for embodied aesthetics in the contexts of art and education.

Seo is participating in the Holocaust project because she believes that art plays a profound role in exploring questions about human dignity and the common good for society. This collaborative effort will expand her prior art practices and research on community-based art activities and interactive publics arts.

Eman Al-Zubeidi (visualization), is an interaction designer with a background in multimedia design. She explores the concept of breaking down barriers relating to social issues and human rights. Her main artistic goal is to innovatively integrate digital media and influential topics inspired by current events to make lasting impressions while deeply connecting with an audience. Eman is continuously seeking collaborations with performance artists as she believes the ethereal nature of performance creates an even more intimate relationship between artists and audiences. ​But Where There’s Hope, There’s Life ​falls perfectly in line with her artistic philosophy as it allows her to collaboratively shine a light ​on an important historical event and its parallels to our current political climate concerning discrimination and displacement.

 

James R. Ball III (performance studies) is an assistant professor in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. His book, Theater of State: A Dramaturgy of the United Nations, is forthcoming in 2019 from Northwestern University Press. His writing on the politics of spectatorship has previously appeared in e-MisféricaTDR: The Drama Review, and Brecht Yearbook.

“I am excited to be a part of a project that will continue to expand and enliven the arts landscape of Bryan and College Station. This show provides a unique opportunity to put my research on site-specific and interactive performance into practice. I am also compelled by the continuing relevance and urgency of this performance: in an era in which openly ethno-nationalist and white-supremacist (dare I say, fascist) politicians have risen to power across the globe, revisiting histories of violence provides an essential milieu in which to confront the demons of our present.”

Dr. Adam Seipp’s (historian), research focuses on war and social change in modern Germany, particularly the period since 1945.  His recent publications include a book,  Strangers in the Wild Place: Refugees, Americans and a German Town, 1945-1952 (Bloomington, 2013) and two articles: “Buchenwald Stories: Testimony, Military History, and the American Encounter with the Holocaust” in the Journal of Military History (July 2015) and “The Driftwood of War: The US Army, Expellees, and West German Society, 1945-1952” in War and Society (October 2013).  He is also the co-editor (with Michael Meng) of Modern Germany in Transatlantic Perspective (2017).

He is currently working on two research projects.  The first is a social history of the American military presence in the Federal Republic of Germany from 1945-1995.  The second examines the role of testimony in shaping narratives of concentration camp liberation in the United States and Germany.  He has several articles and book chapters forthcoming from these projects.

Seipp’s research has been funded by the Fulbright Program, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German Marshall Fund, German Historical Institute – Washington, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the US Army Military History Institute.

He serves as a DAAD Research Ambassador and is a fellow of the Texas A&M Arts and Humanities Program.  He is a Faculty Affiliate of the Albritton Center for Grand Strategy.

Igor Kraguljac (photographer/cinematographer), is a commercial photographer, videographer and educator from College Station – Texas; he earned his BA in Cinematography at Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade (Serbia) and his master’s degree in Visualization Sciences at Texas A&M University. He has been a part of many publications including New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Digital Camera, and One Eyeland Book – “Best of The Best Photographers in 2013” the world’s finest collection of creative images. Some of Igor’s awards include First Place – Photo Contest- Rangefinder Magazine, Winners Gallery – Center for Fine Art Photography, and Best of College Photography Annual – Photographers Forum/Nikon. Operates in Texas area.

Vishwanand “V” Shetti (cinematographer/editor), is a visual artist who worked 7 years as an editor on documentary and reality television series (TLC’s My 600-lb Life and A&E’s Shipping Wars).  During that time, he was producing and editing independent feature length documentary and narrative films (A Force in Nature-Jóhann Eyfells and Sunset Junction, a Personal Musical).  In 2008, V received a Masters in Visualization Sciences at Texas A&M University, where he collaborated with musicians, dancers, and other visual artists.  Almost fitting after shooting and editing videos for installations and performances, V is currently in his 10th year producing video content for numerous Halloween attractions, including 14 haunted houses and 4 lighted pumpkin trails, across the country.   

“Working with memories has been a common thread in much my work. It is not only about recreating the past. For me, it is about exploring how time alters our perception and how stories evolve through each passing generation.”

Other Personnel

Costumes

  • Carisa Armstrong
  • Christine Bergeron
  • Sandy Bergeron

Production Managers

  • Carisa Armstrong
  • Christine Bergeron

 Associate Production Manager

  • Brooke Griffin

Assistant Production Manager

  • Taegan Besancon

Lighting Designer

  • Krissie Day

Consultants

  • Risa Bierman, Hillel Executive Director
  • Lowell Kane, GLBT and Holocaust Researcher, Purdue University
  • Rachel Goodman, Community member

Title Photo by Igor Kraguljac