Last weekend, I came across an article about the 2014 documentary, “Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity.” The subject of the doc, Elizabeth Streb, has been referred to as the Evil Knievel of Dance. She is a world-acclaimed modern dancer and choreographer best known for her brutal, energetic style. She is the founder of the company STREB/ Ringside, and her dancers fling themselves through space and (inevitably) into solid objects, but while it sounds like a series of sight gags, it’s actually quite moving and joyous and oddly life affirming. She attributes her athletic, violent style of dance to the fact that she grew up participating in extreme sports and interested in the more dangerous circus acts. Her through-lines are gravity and flight, and she’s a complete nutter. I’m so grateful to live in a world where such inspired nuts can find their way to shine.
Nothing I can say can prepare you for the controlled violence of Streb’s choreography, so how about I shut up and show, not tell? And if you’re interested, she makes all her rehearsals open to the public, so you can go watch the magic happen, warts, bruises and all! They’re at STREB LABORATORY for ACTION MECHANICS (SLAM), 51 North 1st Street, Brooklyn.