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Arts at Vassar


Renowned twin towers high wire artist Philippe Petit to give a talk, “Cheating the Impossible,” October 6, 2016

High wire artist Philippe Petit is best known for his dramatic, hour-long, clandestine performance on a steel cable between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City in 1974. He has presented more than eighty high-wire walks all over the world; and each one, in his mind and in the eyes of thousands of spectators, has been a work of art. He’ll discuss his work in the talk, “Cheating the Impossible,” on Thursday, October 6, 5:30pm, in the Martel Theater of the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film. This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required (see below for more information).

Petit’s famous, illegal high-wire walk between the twin towers became the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary film, Man on Wire, as well as the 3-D IMAX feature film, The Walk, directed by Robert Zemeckis.

In addition to walking the high wire, Petit gives lectures and workshops on creativity and motivation, writes, draws, performs close-up magic, practices lock-picking and 18th century timber framing, plays chess, studies French wine, and was sighted bullfighting in Peru. Petit has also been arrested over 500 times for street juggling.

 His talk will combine storytelling, demonstrations, drawings, audience participation, and even magic tricks to explore the topics of passion, tenacity, intuition, faith, dealing with mistakes, and re-inventing problem solving.

“Attending a lecture by Philippe Petit is a bit like landing on the moon: everything is different, surprising, fresh and exciting,” said late actor/comedian Robin Willliams.

Reservations are required. For reservations, please contact: boxoffice@vassar.edu or call (845) 437-5599.

This event is sponsored by the Creative Arts Across Disciplines Novy 1928 Fund.


The Creative Arts Across Disciplines initiative at Vassar College is generously funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About Creative Arts Across Disciplines (CAAD)
In 2014, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Vassar College a grant for this multi-year initiative to enhance integration of the creative arts across the college curriculum. CAAD utilizes artist residencies, thematic programming, faculty and curricular development initiatives and student creative projects to broaden collaboration across academic disciplines. Each academic year, CAAD has focused on one of the five senses. The theme for the 2016-17 year is touch.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, September 15, 2016