When I walk into the Roundhouse Performance Theatre to see STREB the room is full of colour, noise and movement. The performers are rehearsing on stage as everyone comes in. Bodies in all of the brightest colours of cotton blend bounce and flop and cartwheel around. I should have expected this sort of thing from a group whose rehearsals are always open to the public. The Streb Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM) calls a recovered warehouse in Brooklyn, New York home. Their website encourages you to bring your lunch and use their WiFi while you're there, too. Why? Because, as founder Elizabeth Streb says, "the cross section of activity in our space feeds the creativity."
Creativity is definitely what this group is all about. Check out the the props they use. Inspired by a construction site?
I've never felt so concerned that people might get hit in the face with a large metal bar at a dance performance before. Awesome timing.
One of my favourites was SQUIRM, an elaboration on the 'how many people can we fit into a telephone booth' theme. This is halfway through the show, so those are sweaty bodies in there.
Ok, just one more video. "Fly!"
STREB's performance at the Roundhouse on January 22nd was the first event in Vancouver's 2010 Cultural Olympiad, which lasts until March 21st. I like to think of the Olympiad as just enough arts events to placate us non-athletes while our city is turned upside-down during the Olympics.