Exciting and daring feats await Erie and Mercyhurst theater-goers Tuesday, Feb. 16, as the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) plays host to Streb, a dance troupe mixing artistry and extreme sports.
The company, founded in 1985, hails from Brooklyn, N.Y. Founder Elizabeth Streb describes the company’s performance as a “mixture of slam dancing, exquisite and amazing human flight, and a wild action sport that captures kids, older people and the general public’s hearts, minds and bodies.”
This perplexing circus of dance has toured both domestically and internationally, presenting their work in an endless list of both traditional and nontraditional venues.
In addition to their travels, the company has also maintained a year round studio/laboratory called S.L.A.M. in Brooklyn since 2003. The permanent facility is an important asset to a troupe that does so much experimenting and constructing.
Streb uses a variety of unique machines for the performance, adding engineering know-how to their repertoire. One such piece of equipment, the Whizzing Gizmo, looks similar to an amusement park ride as the dancers romp and move around inside.
Any performance by Streb combines trapeze maneuvers and the intricacy of dance in a special way that thrills audiences. At any given show, Streb’s “actioneers” defy as many laws of physics and biomechanics as possible, making the dancers appear as masters of the universe.
Yet, for all the manipulation of centrifugal force and gravity, Streb does not employ illusion or mystery. All the stunts are exactly what they appear to be. The show is designed to include acts that are easily understood by the audience. When it appears that one of the actioneers is about to be hit in the face, they are, and are simply avoiding the danger.
The performance is sure to be full of engaging surprises and death-defying marvels, and is to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Tickets can be purchased at the PAC box office by calling extension 3000. Prices are $15 for Mercyhurst students.