Known as the “Evel Knievel of Dance,” choreographer Elizabeth Streb brings her company STREB for a thrilling performance that harnesses the power of dance, aesthetics, and Hollywood-style stunt work at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2.

Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech,  STREB’s “FORCES” will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. 

There will also be a special film screening of “Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity,” followed by an artist dialogue with Streb on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. at The Lyric Theatre, 135 College Avenue. The 2014 documentary traces the evolution of the choreographer’s movement philosophy as she pushes herself and her performers from the ground to the sky. The event, which is co-presented with Community Voices, is free and open to the public.

Streb is known for her investigations of action. She examines everyday movements, the extreme action of sports, circus acts, and the adrenaline-producing qualities of thrill rides to create live breathtaking performances that stretch to the very edge of the boundaries of physics.

With “FORCES,” Streb has created a story of action, documenting a journey to harness the world’s invisible forces and learn its tricks. These action ideas are daring, yet understandable, pushing past critical senses. Bowling balls fall, a floor rapidly turns to create turbulence, a 25-foot square wall is occupied by counter weighted performers, and the “Whizzing Gizmo” invented by circus royalty Noe and Ivan España intermittently ejects bodies.

The performance brings together a cadre of theatre specialists, artists, and collaborators  at the forefront of their fields, joined by their passion to rethink the interface between people, technology, and society.

The center has coordinated several community engagement events during the company’s visit, including a free matinee performance for students in fifth through eighth grades from Radford and Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Roanoke counties. STREB will also bring “KID ACTION,” a workshop where children explore the impact, velocity, and defiance of gravity through a combination of physical conditioning, daredevil stunts, acrobatics, and aerial arts, to third graders at Margaret Beeks Elementary School in Blacksburg.

Streb and Matt McAdon, the company’s technical director, will participate in a conversation with students and faculty from Virginia Tech’s Department of Theatre and Cinema during a special “Meet the Makers” event.

Streb founded the company in 1985. Her company’s cutting-edge, dangerous talent was featured at the 2012 London Olympics, and she has received major commissions from the Whitney Museum of Art, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and the Park Avenue Armory.

Streb was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award in 1997 and received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987. She holds a master's degree from New York University, a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Brockport, and two honorary doctorates from SUNY Brockport and Rhode Island College.


Tickets are $25-55 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents renowned artists from around the globe and from close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The Center for the Arts and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, with which the Center for the Arts is uniquely partnered, are housed in the Moss Arts Center. The Moss Arts Center is a 147,000-square-foot facility that includes the Street and Davis Performance Hall and its 1,274-seat Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre; visual art galleries; the four-story, experimental venue the Cube; and research studios.

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