Press release

Contact: Joyce Linehan (617) 282-2510 x 1,

 “STREB: BRAVE” OCT. 22—24, 2009
(BOSTON) The Institute of Contemporary Art presents the Boston premiere of STREB: BRAVE, by the Brooklyn- based boundary-smashing STREB Extreme Action dance company, Oct. 22—24, 2009. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $40 reserved; $35 ICA members, students, and seniors, and can be purchased at or by phone at (617) 478-3103.
Intertwining the disciplines of dance, extreme sports, and Hollywood stunt work, STREB’s vocabulary combines athleticism, strict precision, and daring. Elizabeth Streb and her superbly conditioned performers pursue, possess and exemplify pure action. In STREB: BRAVE they join forces with adventurous artists from other disciplines, composer David Van Tiegham, the MIT Media Lab and the trapeze virtuosos Noe and Ivan España. The action, literally, never stops as this high-powered team explores perpetual motion. STREB: BRAVE not only keeps the
performers leaping, spinning and soaring, but the structures around them, under and over them will be in motion as well. STREB finds ingenious ways to turn traditionally unoccupied surfaces into new performance terrain, giving audiences new ways and places to look at the unexplored world right around them. For some, a circle is just a circle, but for STREB "the circle produces invisible forces... the structure itself is in motion. So, it is immeasurably complicated. There is no beginning and no end and the challenge is to decide when the events occur and how to do this in an authentic and organic way."
STREB: BRAVE challenges audiences as it reconfigures the proper platform for witnessing action. The rotating floor will be turning. There will no longer be a “front,” but instead an ever-altering array of points of view and angles of perception. The performers will have to be constantly space-shifting their positions and their actions as the ground slips always out from under them. STREB: BRAVE creates the thrills of the circus, the heart thumps of a great adventure movie, and the velocity of the Indy 500 in one big, crowd-pleasing Action Event. Beautiful bodies engaging sexy new hardware in show-stopping pieces will keep audiences on the edge of their seats, wherever in space those seats happen to be.
MIT professor Hugh Herr, a rock climbing prodigy who suffered a traumatic accident at the age of 17 which resulted in the amputation of both legs just below the knee, is now the head of the Biomechatronics Lab (fondly known as the Leg Lab). He was the recipient of STREB's Action Maverick Award in 2008 and has since collaborated on the design of Elizabeth Streb's rotating harnesses used during this performance. STREB also collaborated with Laura Nichols and Jessica Banks, both graduates of M.I.T. under Dr. Herr, on the programming of a humanoid robot used in the show and the production of the harnesses that Dr. Herr and Elizabeth designed.
STREB’s unique choreography was invented by founder and artistic director Elizabeth Streb. Fascinated by the pure, stripped-down movement of bodies yielding to and defying physical forces, Streb incorporates mats, harnesses, trampolines, and climbing apparatus into the company’s performances. STREB’s members are trained in ballet, modern dance, martial arts, acrobatics, and circus skills. Streb has been thrilling audiences with her choreography—which she calls “pop-action”—for the past two decades. Once described as “the Evel Knievel of dance,” she is trained in ballet and modern dance, and studies physics. She has received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur “Genius Award,” two New York Dance and Performance awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three New York Foundation for the Arts Awards, and several National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.
STREB has appeared in theaters around the world and served as artists-in-residence at several art museums, including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The company has also performed at Grand Central Station in New York, during halftime at a Seattle Sonics game, on the pitcher’s mound at Minneapolis Metrodome before a Twins game, on Late Night with David Letterman, MTV and Nickelodeon.
STREB: BRAVE was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces: Dance Initiative, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts.
About the ICA
An influential forum for multi-disciplinary arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art has been at the leading edge of art in Boston for more than 70 years. Like its iconic building on Boston's waterfront, the ICA offers new ways of engaging with the world around us. Its exhibitions and programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. The ICA, located at 100 Northern Avenue, is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is $15 adults, $13 seniors and $10 students, and free for members and children 17 and under. ICA Free Admission for Youth is sponsored by State Street Foundation. Free admission on Target Free Thursday Nights, 5 - 9 p.m. Free admission for families sponsored at ICA Play Dates (2 adults + children 12 and under) on the last Saturday of the month. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our Web site at


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