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Connecting Science and Art: ArcAttack & Chunky Move Bring Creativity to Rose-Hulman Performing Arts Series Shows

November 1, 2011


Sunday, November 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Hatfield Hall Theater
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
5500 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute, IN

  Tickets: $15 for adults and $10 for non-Rose-
  Hulman students. Purchase tickets by calling the 
  Hatfield Hall ticket office at (812) 877-8544 or 
  visiting the office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 
  weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. 

Two acts that share a common theme of combining science and engineering with the beauty of the performing arts will perform next week at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Hatfield Hall.  On Sunday, November 6, ArcAttack will bring its electrifying show to the stage, followed on November 12 by the award-winning Australian dance troupe, Chunky Move.

ArcAttack features the high-tech wizardry of a set of custom-designed and built singing tesla coils.  As the coils throw out electrical arcs -- some nearly 12 feet long -- they produce sounds reminiscent of an early synthesizer.  This allows the coils to be played like an instrument.  The show's master of ceremonies will engage the crowd, as well as the coils, as he walks through the half-million volt sparks, protected by a thin chainmail Faraday suit.

Accompanying this display are five additional members of the high-tech spectacle playing other instruments, and a robotic drum set, complete with flashing LEDs that light up with each stroke of the mechanically-actuated sticks.

Bunny Nash, coordinator of Rose-Hulman's performing arts series, says that the combination of science and art was too tempting to pass up in deciding to bring this group to campus.  The group, which has appeared on America's Got Talent, melds technology and performance in a stunning display.

"When I heard they were going on tour, I snatched them up!," Nash exclaims.

Each year, Rose-Hulman's Performing Arts Series features shows that appeal to families and younger audiences.   ArcAttack, with its musical tesla coils, seeks to make science exciting for the audience.

"We thought ArcAttack would appeal to all ages.  This would be a fun way to introduce the sciences to kids," Nash says.

As a special bonus, ArcAttack will provide special educational workshops and classroom activities for Rose-Hulman students.  This special residency program enhances the performing arts series for the college and its students.

          Chucky Move

   Chunk Move-Connected
Saturday, November 12 - 8 p.m.
Hatfield Hall Theater
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
5500 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute, Ind.

  Tickets: $18-$22 for adults and $15 for non-Rose-
  Hulman students.  Purchase tickets by calling 
  the Hatfield Hall ticket office at (812) 877-8544 
  or visiting the office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 
  weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. 

Tickets for ArcAttack are $15 for adults and $10 for non-RHIT students. 


Meanwhile, Chunky Move will present Connected, a show blending music and modern dance with a kinetic sculpture.  Choreographer Gideon Obarzanek animates both the body and the machine through physical connection between the dancers and artist Reuben Margolin's purpose-built sculpture on stage.

"I've always been drawn to dance and acrobatics, when they can integrate engineering elements," Nash explains about including Connected into Rose-Hulman's Performing Arts Series.

Beginning with simple movements and hundreds of tiny pieces, the dancers build their performance while constructing the sculpture in real-time.  During the performance, these basic elements and simple physical connections quickly evolve into complex structures and relationships.

Suspended by hundreds of fine strings receiving information from multiple camshafts and wheels, the sculpture translates the dancers' movements into flowing shapes.  The sculpture seems to come to life as the wood, recycled plastic, paper and steel of which it is made is set into motion.  The result is a living sculpture, incorporating human forms with mechanical components.

Tickets for Chunky Move--Connected are $18-$22 for adults and $15 for non-RHIT students.  Persons can purchase tickets for any Performing Arts Series show through the Hatfield Hall ticket office by calling (812) 877-8544 or visiting the office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.