Elizabeth Streb

(23 February 1950)

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Elizabeth Streb is an American choreographer, performer, and teacher of contemporary dance. Once called the Evel Knievel of dance, Elizabeth Streb’s choreography, which she calls “POPACTION,” intertwines the disciplines of dance, athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt-work. The result is a bristling, muscle-and-motion vocabulary that combines daring with strict precision in pursuit of public acts of “pure movement.”

In 2003, Streb established S.L.A.M. (STREB Lab for Action Mechanics) in Brooklyn, NY. S.L.A.M.’s garage doors are always open for the community to come in and watch rehearsals, take classes, and learn to fly. Streb has been featured in documentaries about her work:PopAction by Michael Blackwood, PBS In The Life as one of three stories of gay individuals, PBS’s Great Performances for her piece, Wild Blue Yonder, a commission from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts honoring the invention of the airplane in 1903 by the Wright Brothers. In 2011, Streb was commissioned by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Mayor of London to participate in the London 2012 Festival, for which she placed stunt artists in prominent locations in London for ‘One Extraordinary Day’.

In 2012, director Catherine Gund began production on a feature-length documentary chronicling the evolution of Streb’s choreography and the STREB Extreme Action Company – entitled “BORN TO FLY: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity”. The film features footage of the One Extraordinary Day performance from July 15, 2012, filmed by renowned documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, as well as archival footage from her over 30 years of practice and contemporary performance footage. The film was released in 2014.