Company Press Kit
"The loud music, the lights....as fun and unpredictable—and scary—as any rock concert i've ever been to. I ADORE, and so do the kids, the subversive boom of directions hurled among the performers...a vital communication missing from all the dance I’ve ever seen...Could there be a more perfect break in the tedium of almost two months of cancelled outdoor recreation at school, where the kids have to sit quietly in the auditorium during recess, because the teachers need to park their cars on the "blacktop" instead of the icy streets. Something like this gives me a much-needed referent to talk about art, commitment, passion...possibilities...wish dance were emphasized as much as sports in our schools."
5th Graders Love STREB!
"...If it’s true that watching others move makes our own muscles fire, we’ve had a workout. Streb cooks up a vibrant stew that’s part circus, part sporting event, part theater, part student recital, and part scrupulous time-motion-energy investigation."
Elizabeth Streb Spins Her ‘Whizzing Gizmo’; Rajika Puri Dives Into the Ganges
Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice, 5/13/2009
"The space is so small you can feel the vibrations of the dancer’s thundering bodies as they perform, see the rest of the audience’s faces mirroring your own reactions. There’s a feeling of community, of solidarity, energy drummed up by the dancers and tossed back by the audience..."
The Hijinks of Molly and Tara, 5/22/09
“By exploring the frontiers of performance space, and creating works that reflect the spirit of our technological age, Ms. Streb is carrying dance into a new dimension.”
-Robert Johnson, The New York Times
“A choreographer who requires a special taste rarely appeals to a broad public. But Elizabeth Streb’s pieces do both, and this paradox is the secret to her success … One can respond viscerally to the dancers who crash against walls or to dancers curveting their bodies in space. As they fly into the air and land, inches away from one another, their split-second timing impresses with its results: rhythm, dynamics, and thrills…"
-Anna Kisselgoff. The New York Times
“Streb’s unique movement art – kin to sport, circus, physics experiment, and hard labor-- has reached a peak of theatricality and dare-all virtuosity.”
-Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice
“With their sweaty athleticism and high wire daring, STREB’s dancers may well be the
Flying Wallendas of Dance.”
-Amy Gammerman, The Wall Street Journal
“The air is filled with the sounds of grinding crashes, grunts and yells from the
performers and gasps from the audience…it is all in great fun.”
-Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times
“As if the law of gravity had been repealed.”
-Gus Solomons, Dance Magazine
“It’s not like choreography you have ever seen before ...,It’s all high impact stuff – people throwing themselves against walls with bone-crushing abandon, hurtling down ropes and bouncing on trampolines...with oohs and aahs from the audience, and an effect at its best rather like a firework display.”
Clive Barnes, New York Post
In the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, heroes are being trained. Behind a red-brick façade and roll-up garage door in the heart of a gentrifying neighborhood at 51 North First Street, the kids are swingingwhee!from trapezes overhead. They are practicing falling on their backs by first running at top speedsplat!into a wall. They are climbing onto the trusses and belly-flopping off themwa-pack! They bounce off vaults or trampolines or swing around in body harnesses. There are balls to roll, walls to climb, nets to catch falling bodies. The noise is climbing to 4 bells.
Inside this massive warehouse colored in loud primary red, blue, and yellowa space that has been named Streb Lab For Action Mechanics or, simply, SLAMstands the ringleader, Elizabeth Streb, a tall thin woman in black combat boots, black jeans, a black blazer, bold black rectangular glasses and a shocking Mohawk of black hair. Some of the other adultswho in the mornings and evenings may be practicing aerial silk dance 20 feet above the ground, training in tightrope-walking with Phillippe Petit or flying circus arts with the España/STREB Trapeze Academy, or rehearsing Streb's demanding "action" choreographyhave become teachers for the afternoon. Streb watches the old and young generations of what she calls "Extreme Action Heroes" with a mix of pride and bemusement.
All of this resembles a circus, a comparison encouraged by Strebwhich she says stands for "Strength Trust Risk Energy Body" and which the kids often use as a verb. Streb calls her movements "Pop Action" and they require speed, precision, and fearlessness. A common way for a STREB dancer to stop moving is by slamming into a wall or another immovable object. A common way for a STREB dancer to dismount a piece of equipment is to dive into a face-plant from as high as 25 feet. (Their falls and flops are cushioned by thick mats, if you were worried.) ...
...Read the Rest of the Article