MacArthur Fellows Program

Elizabeth Streb

Dancer and Choreographer | Class of 1997

Dancer and Choreographer
New York, New York
47 at time of award
Area of Focus
Choreography and Dance
Published July 1, 1997

About Elizabeth's Work

Elizabeth Streb is a dancer and choreographer who is charting an innovative and dynamic course in artistic movement.

Since launching her independent career in 1979, Streb has developed an original approach to choreography that is action oriented and gravity defying in movement.  For inspiration, she has drawn from Russian Constructivist and Bauhaus dance movements, as well as from boxing, the circus, the rodeo, and gymnastics.  She has stretched the language and structure of dance, formulating a vocabulary that is at once athletic and aesthetic.  In many performances, the only "music" she allows is the natural or amplified sound of bodily impact, reinforcing the primacy of physical action in her work.  Streb seeks to expose the inherent tension between gravity and volition within structures that are at once confining and liberating, and she succeeds in revealing and projecting an exhilarating physicality, often with ahumorous touch.


Streb founded her company, STREB, in 1979, and as artistic director has led the group on extensive tours throughout the United States and abroad.  The company also mounts new productions and offers educational programs at its home studio, the Streb Laboratory for Action Mechanics (SLAM), in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Streb received a B.A. from the State University of New York, Brockport (1972).

Last updated January 1, 2005

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