Not your average gymnastics show
Combining both gymnastics, dance, and high action movement, STREB creator Elizabeth Streb puts together a beautifully choreographed show. It combines both the tumbling and high flying stunts you find in gymnastics, but also with following beats and keeping time like you would in dance
STREB’s unique style follows a beat like any dance number would, but they are also rolling, tumbling, and falling to a combination of sounds. The dancers use call-outs to direct their actions. Their natural grunts, voices, and thuds on the floor become their soundtrack. They're accompanied by a DJ who incorporates these sounds and the sound heard from the equipment. This used to be the only sounds heard at a STREB show,. Now Streb incorporates music too. This was especially effective, later in the show.
Falling With Style
The first half of the show starts out with some high energy trampoline work, followed by some floor movements. Everything is done in quick succession. In one moment, three dancers are launched into the air off the trampoline . Next, four of them rotate in a square on the floor.
A small box is brought out. Seven of the dancers squeeze in and lay on top of each other. But that’s not the finale!. Then, an eighth dancer enters the box through a small hole in the bottom. Somehow he works his way up to the top and squeezes himself out. Definitely a funny bit during the show.
Pulling out the big toys
Then, moving from tumbling and trampolines, STREB pulls out the big guns. A half-circle apparatus is rolled out and a a dancer inside rocks it back and forth. With its flat surface on top, the other dancers jump up. Amazingly‑and demonstrating their core strength and balance‑ they are able to keep the circle upright. The DJ plays rock n’ roll classics like, “I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night.”
Then comes the big show stopper— a custom made large metal scaffold with a spinning ladder attached. Using their own movement, thedancers spin the ladder or stop it by balancing the weight on either side so it lays horizontal in the air.
Of course, nothing can compare to actually seeing these stunts in person, so to get an idea check out the video below and prepare to be amazed...
What is also noteworthy about this show is the teamwork and trust that comes from the company members. Every act involves the dancers moving quickly with each other or one right after the other. You see a high level of trust, and also a high level of communication between all of them. For example, while some of the troupe have their backs turned, another dancer is jumping right at them. This dancer then calls out to them so that they can move and catch him.
There is no doubt that these stunts take a lot of physical work and dedicated training to perform.. Even with that required focus, the dancers still manage to let their personalities shine through. One dances on stage while the crew shifts the stage for the next act. Another has perfect comedic timing as he turns and smiles to the audience while performing a highly physical act. The company works well together and are funny to boot.
Harris Theater MIX AT SIX— Add it to your night out
MIX at SIX is the Harris Theater’s very first happy hour series. Beginning at 6pm, this series is designed to be one-hour programs after work.This means you can see this stunt filled spectacle and still make it to your 7:30 show down the road. However, even if this is the only show you're able to see, it's well worth it. You'll be sitting forward in your seat the entire time in awe of the company's physical skills.
Friday January 13th at 6:00pm
Saturday January 14th at 2:00pm
The Harris Theater
205 E Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Tickets to the MIX at SIX programs are $10 and include a drink from Revolution Brewing.
For tickets to upcoming MIX at SIX programs and more Harris Theater music and dance events, visit their Harris Theater upcoming events webpages.