The Choreographic World of Elizabeth Streb

Ira’s conversation with Action Architect Elizabeth Streb continues.

Photo by Elyssa Goodman
Photo by Elyssa Goodman

On the show today (Friday, November 29, 2013), Ira talks with choreographer and MacArthur “Genius” Elizabeth Streb. He learns that when Elizabeth isn’t over at the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics teaching her dancers to fly, fall, and run into walls, she’s chatting with physicist friends like Lisa Randall about how extra dimensions could affect the body and why she can’t put one of her dancers in the Large Hadron Collider (radiation is no joke). Get Ira, Elizabeth, and Lisa in a room, and the conversation doesn’t end when the “interview” is over. In the post-broadcast chat below, you’ll learn the answer to Elizabeth’s latest pressing question: Could she move so fast, she’d disappear?

Curious about what Elizabeth means when she says she wants her dancers to fly? Take a gander at what goes down in her latest show, Forces, and listen to clips from her interview with Ira that didn’t make it into the show. (Footage courtesy of STREB and our own smartphone cameraman, Ira Flatow.)

Finally, Elizabeth says she develops many of her dances on paper first. Check out the slideshow below for a sneak peek at how STREB Company’s “big hardware” comes together.

  • Elizabeth Streb’s sketch for the dance “Rotate.” “Rotate” uses the Whizzing Gizmo, a 12-foot diameter aluminum and steel wheel that the dancers enter elegantly and slowly—at first. Courtesy STREB Extreme Action Company

  • Courtesy of STREB Action Lab

  • Courtesy of STREB Action Lab

  • Courtesy of STREB Action Lab

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About Annie Minoff

Annie Minoff is Science Friday’s SciArts producer. She’s visited Olympic ski jumps and a nuclear reactor, all in the name of science.

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