New STREB Show: Forces the Movical Combines Dance, Theater, and Physics

"Elizabeth Streb is known as the Evil Knievel of the dance world. Her style of dance includes stunts that seem culled from Hollywood, Cirque de Soleil, or the skate park. The choreographer is known for her signature “pop” style, where dancers bounce and rebound off surfaces like rubberized cartoon characters, and for her signature mohawk.

Her company, STREB, regularly incorporates huge structures, and wire harnesses, to allow the dancers to fly, fall, climb, and explore the interaction of their bodies with surfaces. 

Streb is also the first choreographer to be awarded a McArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and recently the company performed at the London Olympic opening ceremony.


 

This month, STREB is performing a new show in New York, “Forces: The Movical” as part of Streb’s ongoing “investigation of action.” “Forces” was created in collaboration with theatre technicians to, “create a show based on all the questions STREB has historically asked; questions that are Newtonian in nature and that veer into quantum mechanical impossible zones.” Dancers defy gravity, utilize momentum, and use counter forces. In other words, they dive from platforms, swing bowling balls, and fall into one another. 

The concept of combining theater, dance, and physics is thoughtful and existential, but the execution is pure mass entertainment. This is a show that dance-lovers and their less enthusiastic partners can both enjoy. Her pieces often have a cheesy will.i.am type M.C., but don't be put off; it’s only for the safety of the dancers. 

Streb does her thing — the first massive injection of newness into the dance world since Alivin Ailey, Isadora Duncan, and Merce Cunningham birthed modern — and we get to enjoy it. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marni Chan

Marni has a M.A. from NYU's Arthur Carter Journalism Institute's Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program, where she studied under Susie Linfield, Katie Roiphe, and Dennis Lim. She also has a B.A. in history and politics from Pomona College. Marni has previously written for Forbes, AOL, and Conde Nast Traveler.

MORE FROM

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.