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EMPAC Gala Weekend

For four years we’ve watched it take shape. The jewel of Troy, the architectural Transformer—we’ve called it many things as we’ve ogled the shiny edifice across the river. This weekend, though, it’s finally time to put a glide in our stride, a dip in our hip, and come aboard the mothership.

The first of three opening weekends, Gala Weekend at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s newly constructed Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center is going to be a heady, interactive, multimedia whirlwind of events starting Friday morning with a presidential colloquy and ribbon cutting. From there, the series hits the ground running. A panoramic 360-degree screen gets put to proper use for both Workspace Unlimited, a project using modified video game engines, and turntablist Madlib’s late-night set on Saturday. Billy Cowie: In the Flesh is a holographic dance routine that requires the audience to wear 3-D glasses, and Norwegian company Verdensteatret use everything from puppets to projections to robots for their piece Louder. Finally, the EMPAC concert hall gets world-class treatment from avant improvisers Pauline Oliveros and Cecil Taylor.

The EMPAC Gala Weekend begins tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 3) at 10 AM, and runs through Sunday evening at EMPAC (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th St., Troy). Most events require ticket reservations that can be made for free pending their availablity. Call 276-3921 or visit


The Egg’s Dance: The World performance series kicks off tomorrow (Friday) night with a visit from Montreal’s [bjm_danse]. If you’re wondering about the eccentric punctuation, there’s an explanation: Formerly Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, the company wanted to make it clear that while they were the same group, they weren’t the same group—if you know what we mean.

The Dallas Morning News praised them as “a charismatic group that moves with a carefree lightness that is personable and delightful.” And the Edmonton Journal wrote that they possessed a “combination of clarity, strength and suppleness. Heady stuff, and good for the soul.”

[bjm_danse] will perform tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 3) at 8 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $24, $20 seniors and $12 children. For reservations and info, call 473-1845.

Dr. Dog, Delta Spirit

2008 is shaping up to be the year of the Dog. Philadelphia-based band Dr. Dog released their fifth album, Fate, to wide critical acclaim in July. They made the festival and late-night-TV rounds, and this month they received the ultimate endorsement for an up-and-coming indie-rock band when Kanye West gave them a shout-out on his blog. Fitting, as the music of Fate is by far more studio-enhanced than the band’s previous efforts—some might call it a harder, better, faster, stronger Dr. Dog.

On tour with Dr. Dog are Delta Spirit, the San Diego act whose soul-drenched new record Ode to Sunshine is one of this year’s great surprises.

Dr. Dog and Delta Spirit will perform at Revolution Hall (425 River St., Troy) on Wednesday (Oct. 8). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $14. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Revolution Hall box office at 274-0553.

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