Icarus at the Edge of Time, a performance piece where physicist Brian Greene re-imagines the myth of Icarus, will open the World Science Festival on May 30. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.
It's a Greek tragedy of scientific proportions.
In the performance piece "Icarus at the Edge of Time," physicist Brian Greene re-imagines the myth of Icarus.
In the original story, Icarus makes wings to fly, but as the young boy soars towards the sun, his flight of fancy bursts into flames and he plunges to his death. That tragic end bothered Greene and set him off on his own adventure to rewrite the classic tale.
"He pays for that courageously with his life," Greene said. "And as a scientist, the thing that we are taught, and the thing we recognize all the time is, you've got to go against what everyone tells you if you're going to have an impact, if you're going to have a breakthrough. You don't die. You may change the world and that may be painful, but that is what pushing the envelope of understanding is all about."
In Greene's futuristic interpretation, Icarus blasts past the sun and journeys to a black hole. But this time, the young innovator doesn't die.
"Instead, he suffers the kind of change that science often wrought on society," he said. "He has to acclimate to a new reality based upon what the courage led him to do."
The performance piece is part animated film and part spoken word set to live music composed by Philip Glass.
To make sure the science is not lost in the art, Greene recently hosted a master class for teachers where he reviewed the basics of black holes so they can then teach their students to better appreciate the physics behind the piece.
"I think that's one of the benefits of bringing them to a performance like that, that they can see there is a nice marriage between art, science, technology, engineering, and math," said Eric Walters, the Director of Science and Technology at the Marymount School.
"Icarus at the Edge of Time" is part of this year's World Science Festival. The performance will open the four-day festival, which kicks off on May 30.
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