CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 19, 1999
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Address STREB advance interview requests
to International Production Associates at 212-925-2100.)
Dance, gymnastics and physics collide literally
in April 10 STREB performance at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- STREB, the dance company in which choreography,
gymnastics and physics reach critical mass, will perform at 8
p.m. Saturday, April 10 in Hancher Auditorium on the University
of Iowa campus.
The performance will conclude a five-day residency for choreographer
Elizabeth Streb and her company. Members of the company will
work each day with 15 students from Southeast Junior High in
Iowa City to prepare "KidAction" for the Hancher performance.
Streb is part choreographer, part fitness coach, part engineer
and part air-traffic controller. Her dancers often perform in,
over, around and up against challenging structures, and they
often use harnesses, pulleys and other mechanical devices to
make gravity-defying movements possible.
STREB had been described as a challenge to the faint-hearted:
"Take the most dangerous event you've ever witnessed, double
the speed, cut the distance in half, multiply by four -- and
then don't look away. Flying, bouncing and crashing off surfaces
like giant atomic particles in a supercollider, the dancers of
STREB are catapulting audiences into a new century of dance."
Streb calls her company simply "a platform for the investigation
of movement." Her works have titles including "Wall/Line,"
"Bounce," "Freeflight," "Fly" and
"Up." One piece uses a
200-pound lever and 400-pound counterweights to create careening
flight. In another the dancers cascade from a trampoline to create
"a continual spray of bodies passing one another."
And another places the dancers on a continuously moving platform
that requires both precision and anticipation.
Dance critic Clive Barnes wrote, "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 fireworks display."
"I feel in my own body the riskiness," Deborah Jowitt
wrote in the Village Voice. "If you're not one of those
wincing, you'll see in the work of Streb and her courageous dancers
a redemptive vision of human daring and ingenuity." And
Harry Weber wrote in the Riverfront Times of St. Louis, "Perhaps
it's a sort of quintessential slam dancing; perhaps it's dance
in evolution. Perhaps it's not even dance at all. Whatever it
is, however, it is absolutely unique and thrilling beyond words."
Consistent with STREB's unusual performances, the company has
popped up in some locations where audiences don't expect to see
a dance company -- not only at the Kennedy Center in Washington,
D.C., and the Joyce Theater in New York, but also in the Minneapolis
Metrodome between games of a Twins-Yankees doubleheader, the
Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, on the beach in Miami,
on the boardwalk at Coney Island, and at the Brooklyn Bridge
Her "KidAction" programs investigate the basic physics
of movement and the construction of choreography from these movements.
The children begin with movements that are natural for them,
and discover techniques for performing these movements in a variety
of situations and against different surfaces. "KidAction"
always culminates in the children's participation in the STREB
Streb has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships
for her unique work, including National Endowment for the Arts
and Guggenheim fellowships, a MacArthur Foundation "genius
grant" and a New York "Bessie" Award.
The STREB residency and performance are supported by the Heartland
Arts Fund. University of Iowa Men's Intercollegiate Athletics
is the corporate sponsor of the performance through the University
of Iowa Foundation.
Tickets for the April 10 performance are $26, $23 and $20. UI
students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount,
with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets
for audience member 17 and younger are half price.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3
p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area
or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa
and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319)
353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American
Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university
bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services
should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box
office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped
parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation
and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people
with hearing impairment who use that technology.