03.20.14 @

Known as the Evel Knievel of dance, Elizabeth Streb, founder of the STREB dance company, will present a lecture on “How to Become an Extreme Action Hero” on April 2 at 7:30 PM in the Johnny Carson Theater. The lecture will utilize multimedia including video, images and Streb’s own drawings to illustrate her unique theory of action. Streb's choreography, which she calls "POPACTION," intertwines the disciplines of dance, athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt-work. The result is a bristling, muscle-and-motion vocabulary that combines daring with strict precision in pursuit of public acts of "pure movement." The lecture is free and open to the public, tickets are required. Complimentary tickets can be reserved through the Lied Center Box Office at 402.472.4747.

“Elizabeth Streb is an incredibly accomplished speaker and her theories on performance and movement will be both amazing and perplexing to attendees,” said Bill Stephan, Executive Director of the Lied Center. “This lecture will provide listeners with a better understanding of STREB’s full company performance on April 11 and will help patrons wrap their minds around the seemingly impossible and incredibly dangerous stunts the dancers of STREB perform every time they go on stage.”

Elizabeth Streb has developed a keynote lecture that uses video, images, drawings, calculations and quotes to illustrate her unique theory of action. In her demonstration, she presents this amalgam of information to simulate an action show without the tons of stuff (and the 12 people!) required for the show. Streb’s keynote presentation deconstructs her approach to action, her theory and her process. It shows how humans can fly, how they land, and traces the lineage of STREB action-invention. It also addresses how a sentient audience ‘sees’ or experiences movement, and how we understand action on stage. How do we comprehend size, distance, speed and angle of viewing? Her demonstration shows the effect of the viewer’s own frame of reference on their perception of action. What are Action’s reference points? What are Movement’s “vanishing points”? The lecture is a fascinating discourse from one of the world’s freshest observers of everyday action.

Elizabeth Streb is a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 'Genius' Award (1997) and a member of the New York City Mayor's Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission. Streb is also a member of the board of the Jerome Foundation and a member of the Atlantic Center for the Arts National Council. She holds a Master of Arts in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University, a B.S. in Modern Dance from SUNY Brockport and two honorary doctorates (SUNY Brockport and Rhode Island College). She is the recipient of numerous other awards and fellowships including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987; a Brandeis Creative Arts Award in 1991; two New York Dance and Performance Awards (Bessie Awards), in 1988 and 1999 for her "sustained investigation of movement"; a Doris Duke Artist Award in 2013; and over 30 years of on-going support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In 2010, Feminist Press published her book, STREB: How to Become an Extreme Action Hero.

Streb has been a featured speaker presenting her keynote lectures at such places as TEDxMet, the Institute for Technology and Education (ISTE), POPTECH, the Institute of Contemporary Art in conversation with Brian Greene, The Brooklyn Museum of Art in conversation with A.M. Homes, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the National Performing Arts Convention, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), as a keynote speaker at Chorus America, The University of Utah, as a Caroline Werner Gannett Project speaker and on NPR's Science Friday with Lisa Randall and Ira Flatow.

Streb has been featured in documentaries about her work: Born to Fly directed by Catherine Gund (Aubin Pictures 2014), PopAction by Michael Blackwood, PBS In The Life as one of three stories of gay individuals, PBS's Great Performances for her piece, Wild Blue Yonder, a commission from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts honoring the invention of the airplane in 1903 by the Wright Brothers. Streb's work has been seen on The David Letterman Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN's Showbiz Today, ABC Nightly News with Peter Jennings, Nickelodeon, NBC's Weekend Today, MTV, Channel 11's News-hour, NY 1, and on Larry King Live when she debated with Dick Armey.

Elizabeth Streb’s lecture will serve as a precursor to STREB’s full company performance on the Lied Center Main Stage April 11 at 7:30 PM. Founded in 1985, STREB tours extensively throughout the United States and internationally presenting performances and residencies and conducts year-round activities at its home studio/laboratory, the STREB LAB for ACTION MECHANICS (S.L.A.M.), located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The company is perhaps best known for its death-defying performances at the 2012 London Olympics. They have also performed sold-out shows at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, the Whitney Museum of American Art's downtown groundbreaking, and at the River to River Festival. Tickets to STREB’s performance on April 11 are now available at LiedCenter.org starting at just $34.

This presentation is made possible in part with generous support from Liberty First Credit Union and Nebraska Lottery.

This presentation of STREB was made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This presentation is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Residency activities are funded, in part, by the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and the Hixson-Lied endowment.

Ticket Information

This event is free and open to the public, tickets are required. Complementary tickets to Elizabeth Streb’s lecture, "How to Become an Extreme Action Hero,” on April 2 at 7:30 PM are available at the Box Office on 12th and R Streets, or by phone at 402-472-4747.