Here’s a free performance that will endeavor to lull its audience to sleep. On purpose. On January 25 at 7 pm, Troy’s EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hosts a free dance performance of EXIT, a dance performance by Belgian artist Kris Verdonck and choreographer Alix Eynaudi. EMPAC’s dance + theater curator experienced the piece recently and can attest to its effectiveness He did indeed fall asleep,and that it was a good thing. You will discover the reasons why should you attend. The purpose of this performance and experiment is not so much having he audience enter deep sleep as it is to demonstrate the way your brain synthesizes information while in that half-awake, half-asleep initial stage of slumber. For hard working people who are usually a bit short of sleep anyway, this is not as difficult as it sounds. There is an element of hypnotic suggestion as you will discover watching the tape above.
With EXIT, Kris Verdonck and Alix Eynaudi steer the audience’s perception by playing with basic theatrical elements such as light, sound, movement, language, and scenography.
What value does our society attach to relaxation, rest, silence, sleep, and laziness? Are we not caught up more than ever in the relentlessness of production and consumption? These are the central themes behind this research and performance. The audience is invited to become co-conspirators in this experiment.
“Sleep is generally considered a waste of time. The way I look at it, sleep is anarchistic, not in the destructive sense, but rather dangerously constructive. Without sleep, our ideas and our knowledge become superficial mass products and therefore easy to set aside. Our ideas become less dangerous. The ensuing contradiction is amazing: by doing nothing at all, man becomes more productive and his knowledge more in-depth, thereby making him less vulnerable in a world that is flooded with information and choices.” — Kris Verdonck
This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made in person at the EMPAC Box Office or over the phone at 518.276.3921. Tickets will be available for pick-up starting at 5 PM the evening of the performance; they must be claimed by 6:45 PM or they will be released.
Evelyn’s Café will open at 5 PM with a full menu of meals, snacks, and beverages as well as a selection of wines. Service continues after the performance. Parking is available in the Rensselaer parking lot on College Avenue.
More information can be found on the EMPAC website: empac.rpi.edu. Questions? Call the EMPAC Box Office: 518.276.3921.
Kris Verdonck’s visual arts, architecture, and theater training is reflected in the work he produces: his creations are situated between visual arts and theater, installation and performance, and dance and architecture. He has directed theater productions and produced various installations, including a.o. 5 (2003), Catching Whales Is Easy (2004), and II (2005).
Verdonck often presents combinations of different installations/performances as variations. The first, Stills, consisting of gigantic projections, was created in 2006. In 2007, he created the theatrical installation I/II/III/IIII. In 2008, END premiered during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. Variation IV, a combination of seven installations was shown during the Avignon Festival in 2008. In 2010, Verdonck finished the circuit performance Actor #1, which shows three variations on a theme from chaos to order. K, a Society, a circuit of installations and projections inspired by the work of Franz Kafka, premiered at Theater der Welt 2010 in Essen, Germany, in 2010.
In 2011, Verdonck presented two research projects: TALK explored language, while EXIT, created with dancer and choreographer Alix Eynaudi and musician Rutger Zuydervelt, tackled theater as a medium. In 2011, the first solo exhibition of his work, EXHIBITION #1 was shown together with a new work, EXOTE. In 2012/13, Verdonck is presenting M, a Reflection, a theater piece based on texts of Heiner Müller and performed by Johan Leysen. He is currently working on H, an Incident, based on the work of Russian writer and dissident Daniil Kharms. H, an Incident will premiere in 2013.
Alix Eynaudi trained as a ballet dancer in the Opéra de Paris and worked in various ballet companies before entering PARTS when the school first opened. In 1996, she joined Anne-Teresa De Keersmaeker’s company Rosas, participating in the creation of several pieces.
Eynaudi works in Brussels creating her own pieces, including Crystalll, in collaboration with Alice Chauchat (2005), and Supernaturel (2007) and Komposition (2008), in collaboration with Anne Juren, Marianne Baillot, and Agata Maszkiewicz, The Visitants (2008) and Long Long Short Long Short (2009), were done in collaboration with Agata Maszkiewicz.
She has performed with Janez Jansa, Erna Ómarsdóttir, the Superamas, Kris Verdonck, Anne Juren, and Mark Lorimer, among others. She also teaches workshops in Ljubljana, Brussels (PARTS), Zagreb, Vienna (ImPulsTanz), Reykjavik, New York (Panetta Movement Center), and Kopenhagen (Skolen for Moderne Dans/The Danish National School of Contemporary Dance).
+ event site: http://empac.rpi.edu/events/2013/spring/exit
+ Kris Verdonck: http://www.atwodogscompany.org/
+ Alix Eynaudi: http://www.margaritaproduction.be/artists/alix-eynaudi
About EMPAC and RPI
EMPAC—The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center—is where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities, technologies, and by breathing the same air.
Situated on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, EMPAC is dedicated to building bridges between our human senses, to modes of perception and experience, to creating meaning in a physical environment, and to the intangible world of digital technology.
Four discrete venues are designed with unique technical infrastructure to enable audiences to see, hear, and move in space in endlessly different ways. EMPAC hosts artists and researchers to create new work and presents events which ask audiences to join the quest for new perspectives.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The school offers degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the social sciences and humanities. For over 30 years, the Institute has been a leader in interdisciplinary creative research, especially in the electronic arts. In addition to its MFA and PhD programs in electronic arts, Rensselaer offers bachelor degrees in electronic arts, and in electronic media, arts, and communication — one of the first undergraduate programs of its kind in the United States. The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies and EMPAC are two major research platforms that Rensselaer established at the beginning of the 21st century.
EMPAC 2012-2013 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by continuous support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. Additional project support by the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the New York State Council for the Arts; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; Arts Council Norway, Fond for Lyd og Bilde, and Fond for Utøvende Kunstner.