EMPAC 360: On Site + Sound honored by Albany Times Union as most exciting Capital Region arts event of 2005

January 1, 2006

From the Albany Times Union

EMPAC impact

Suspended by ropes and harnesses, the dancers swung back and forth, dangling upside down and seeming to defy gravity as they danced along the bare concrete exterior walls of the building. On the ground below, a string quartet played on. Overhead, fireworks crackled, providing a jolting percussive backdrop to both the sights and the sounds.

And that was only one of the four performance segments of "EMPAC 360: On Site + Sound," a mindboggling multimedia experience that took place in early September in Troy. The event marked the midway point in the ongoing construction of RPI's $142 million, state-of-the-art Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus.

EMPAC director Johannes Goebel combined the talents of San Francisco's Flyaway Productions dance troupe, the New York City-based string quartet Ethel, French pyrotechnics artist Pierre-Alain Hubert, sound designer-composer Stephan Moore and video artist Benton-C Bainbridge into a dazzling spectacle amid unfinished buildings, exposed girders and heavy construction equipment. More than 3,000 people attended the free happening, experiencing the most exciting Capital Region arts event of the year.

With this kind of introduction, we can't wait for the building to open in fall 2008.

Written by Steve Barnes, Greg Haymes, Mark McGuire, Susan Mehalick and Casey Seiler.
Article © the Albany Times Union. All Rights Reserved.