Purdue Convocations to present 'Huang Yi and KUKA,' blend of dance, mechanical engineering

September 17, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Robots and humans will intermingle during "Huang Yi and KUKA," an immersive two-step of man, machine, and mechanical engineering. This performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse.

This performance is presented by Purdue Convocations and the Office of the Provost, with support from the Office of the System Chief Information Officer, the College of Engineering, and the College of Science. Additional support from the College of Liberal Arts, the Confucius Institute at Purdue, and the Honors College.

Ticket holders are invited to attend a pre-show discussion at 6:30 p.m. in Stewart Center, Room 206, with a panel of Purdue faculty in robotics, engineering, and time-based arts who will discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities of human-machine interaction. This performance will also be surrounded by residency activities Oct. 4-9 involving fundamental social and philosophical questions about the intersection of humans and robots.

Born from his childhood desire for a robot companion, Huang Yi has created a partnership of humans and robots in dance. To do this, he also had to master the computer-programming vocabulary of his robot dancer, KUKA, which happens to be a massive, articulated arm-style robot frequently found in modern assembly-line duty. Huang Yi spends about 10 hours to create just one minute of movement, using his coding skills and artistic eye to allow the KUKA workhorse's "personality" to spring into a comprehensive range of motion. 

"Huang Yi & KUKA" combines modern dance, multimedia and mechanical engineering. During a weeklong interdisciplinary residency, Huang will work with students. They will talk about  how humans envision their future with machines and how that affects the future of life, work and play.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $22 for those 18 years and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Stewart Center box office at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Group tickets are also available to groups of 10 more. Call 765-496-1977 for more details or visit https://purdue.edu/convocations/group-sales/

Initiated in 1902, Purdue Convocations was one of the first professional performing arts presenters in the United States. Each year, Convocations offers the region 30-40 performances of widely varying genres. Connecting artists and audiences in artistic dialogue and for drawing in academic discourse, Purdue Convocations aims to promote frequent exposure to and familiarity with human cultural expression in a multitude of forms and media. 

Contact: Abby Eddy, Purdue Convocations director of marketing, 765-494-9712, aeeddy@purdue.edu 

Note to Journalists: Publication-quality photographs are available at https://www.purdue.edu/convocations/press/ 

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