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Lights, theater, action! • Brooklyn Paper

Lights, theater, action!

Real-life action heroes: The dancers of Streb dance company do all their own stunts.
Photo by Tom Caravaglia

On the stage, you have to do your own stunts.

The Williamsburg-based daredevil dance company Streb is back from its death-defying performance during the Summer Olympics — where members rode the spokes of the 400-foot-high London Eye observation wheel and bungee-jumped from the Millennium Bridge in July — and have created a new theatrical piece of wild contraptions and intense physical stunts dubbed “Forces! The Movical!”

“We’re trying to tell the story of action,” said company founder Elizabeth Streb. “We’re trying to have a theatrical version of what action would look like if it were put on a dramatic event.”

Streb’s performers will fall from great heights, drop bowling balls onto concrete blocks, run into and up walls, spin I-beams, battle a shifting floor, and even ride upside down on the outer-rim of an enormous yellow wheel.

As her team of action heroes displays its physical skills, Streb herself will stand on the sidelines, dropping pithy aphorisms in the character of a mad scientist, her face occasionally projected on the background of the stage.

“The movical is by far the most cohesive action show I’ve made,” the artist said. “We’ve tried to put a story together as action. And action is essentially an experience, so I want the audience to feel as though they’ve done some of the moves.”

And the audience will actually get to do some of the moves and try out the props once the show’s over.

But they will have to sign a waiver first — Streb is full contact.

“We’re the roughest sport outside boxing and football,” Streb said, explaining that her crew is trained in her own technique of “pop action” shock absorption, which involves rolling and flexing with impact.

“Forces! The Movical!” at Streb Laboratory for Action Mechanics [51 N. First St. between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 384–6491, www.streb.org]. Nov. 29, 7:30 pm, $25 adults, $15 children.

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