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Once called the Evel Knievel of dance, MacArthur Fellow ELIZABETH STREB intertwines the disciplines of dance, athletics, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt-work. In 1985 she founded STREB Extreme Action Company, which performs internationally in theaters, museums, and town squares. She established S.L.A.M.

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How to Become an Extreme Action Hero
Elizabeth Streb

Foreword by Anna Deavere Smith. Introduction by Peggy Phelan.

Elizabeth Streb has been testing the potential of the human body since childhood. Can she fly? Can she run up walls? Can she break through glass? How fast can she go? Combining memoir and theory, Streb conveys how she became an extreme action choreographer, developing a form of movement that’s more NASCAR than modern dance, more boxing than ballet. This book is for those who try or are willing to do just about anything to become a hero in their own way.

"’s incredibly well written, blazingly articulate, brimming with ideas regarding space, time, movement—as if Martha Graham and Albert Einstein had a love child and named her Streb; like Batman and Robin gave her the secret code to how to explain all that happens behind KAPOW, SPLAT, and ZOWIE."

—A. M. Homes

"Fearlessness and intelligence combined—that is what makes Elizabeth Streb's work so potent and beautiful."

—Mikhail Baryshnikov

"Elizabeth courts danger, tricks the eye, and thrills the spirit. She is a dynamic force. She's superhuman. She's Superwoman."

—Trisha Brown, choreographer and visual artist

"in this inspiring and passionate book, ultra-tenacious Elizabeth shares with the reader some of her surrealist goals: leaving a room through the walls; never landing after jumping; and moving so fast that you stand still. Wow!"

—Philippe Petit, high wire artist-in-residence, Cathedral St. John the Divine

"A daring, fiery rebel against constraints on mind and body? A brilliant prophet of a new metaphysics and physics of dance? Elizabeth is all this, and more. Against all odds, she made herself a great, original artist. Now she takes flight while staying rooted in the soil of the hard-working practioner. STREB is her irreplaceable story."

—Catharine R. Stimpson, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science, NYU

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