Eco-Art Program to Kick Off Season of PAC Guest Performances

A man in a black button down, jeans and blazer speaks on a stage. Nearby a string quartet dressed in all black plays, bows poised, in front of a large screen depicting a close-up image of the scales of a leaf.
“Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project," a live multidisciplinary performance focused on global sustainability, will kick off the 2023-2024 season of guest performances at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center. (Photo by Andrew McAllister)

By Bethany Bump

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 19, 2023) — A live multidisciplinary performance focused on global sustainability will kick off the 2023-2024 season of guest performances at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center starting this Sunday.

Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project” blends original music with art, images and science to shine a light on the impacts of climate change and inspire audiences to action. The free, 75-minute program begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at the PAC, and features an original score by composer Laura Kaminsky, live musical performance by the Fry Street Quartet, a lecture by physicist and climate educator Robert Davies, and images by painter Rebecca Allen and environmental photographer Garth Lenz.

“It’s performance art, but also performance science,” says Davies, a physicist at Utah State University who co-created the show with USU’s Fry Street Quartet, in a trailer for the project.

Throughout the performance, Davies breaks down what humans know about the science of human sustainability — exploring everything from water, soil, climate, life, food, energy and the economy to the chemistry of the oceans and the physics of complex systems.

Kaminsky’s score is a central component of the performance and explores these topics through four movements, titled H20, Bios, Forage and Societas.

“My goal was to create a work with a persistent and, at times, subliminal pulse that carries through the four movements, making the quartet itself a symbol for the measure of life,” she said.

The show also makes use of explicit and abstract images from internationally renowned photographers and artists that both exalt the natural world and depict humanity’s assault on it — from the boreal forests of Canada to the industrial sacrifice zones of China and from the ocean depths to the top of the atmosphere.

"Call it eco-art – multimedia works that focus on the Earth’s gifts and support the sustainability of the planet,” described The Washington Post.

The performance will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the performers and UAlbany experts, including English professor Mike Hill; Mary Ellen Mallia, director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability; Paul Millard, director of new program development, manager of the Engineering Laboratory for Health and Sustainability, and professor of practice in the Department of Environmental and Sustainable Engineering; and Matthias Vuille, professor of Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences.

Rising Tide is the first event in PAC’s 2023-24 season of Prime Performances, which brings an array of regional, national and international touring artists to the UAlbany campus.

See below for a list of 2023-24 Prime Performances by category:


Fahrenheit 451
October 26

Rhapsody in Black
February 14

History is Her Story
March 3

Selected Shorts
April 27


Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project
September 24

Quintocracy accompanying The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
November 12

Capital Trio with Ellen Sinopoli Dance Co.
January 27

Ekstasis Duo
April 19


Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
October 13

Fahrenheit 451 (2018)
October 20

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
November 12


Fahrenheit 451 (1966 film)
October 13

Fahrenheit 451 (2018 film)
October 20

Fahrenheit 451 (stage presentation)
October 26

History is Her Story
March 3

Selected Shorts
April 27


Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
October 20 at The Egg

Passion Fruit Dance Company
November 4

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company
December 2 at The Egg

Mark Morris Dance Group
January 25 at  The Egg

Ellen Sinopoli Dance Co. with Capital Trio
January 27

Monica Bill Barnes & Company
February 3

NoGravity Theatre
February 9 at The Egg

Savion Glover
April 13 at The Egg

Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company
May 18 at The Egg