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Skidmore College
Summer Dance Workshop

STREB Extreme Action
June 2 – 22, 2019

Elizabeth Streb Extreme Action
Elizabeth Streb by Jack Mitchell

Elizabeth Streb

MacArthur “Genius” Award-winner, Elizabeth Streb has dived through glass, allowed a ton of dirt to fall on her head, walked down (the outside of) London’s City Hall, and set herself on fire, among other feats of extreme action. Her popular book, STREB: How to Become an Extreme Action Hero, was made into a hit documentary, Born to Fly directed by Catherine Gund (Aubin Pictures), which premiered at SXSW and received an extended run at The Film Forum in New York City in 2014. Streb founded the STREB EXTREME ACTION COMPANY in 1979. In 2003, she established SLAM, the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. SLAM’s garage doors are always open: anyone and everyone can come in, watch rehearsals, take classes, and learn to fly.

Streb has been a featured speaker presenting her keynote lectures at such places as TEDxMET, the Institute for Technology and Education (ISTE), POPTECH, the Institute of Contemporary Art (in conversation with physicist, Brain Greene), The Brooklyn Museum of Art (in conversation with author A.M. Homes), the National Performing Arts Convention, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), the Penny Stamps Speaker Series at the University of Michigan, Chorus America, the University of Utah, and as a Caroline Werner Gannett Project speaker in Rochester NY, among others.

Rough and Tumble Alec Wilkinson’s profile of Elizabeth Streb, appeared in The New Yorker magazine in June, 2015.

Streb received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Award in 1997. She holds a Master of Arts in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University, a Bachelor of Science in Modern Dance from SUNY Brockport, and honorary doctorates from both SUNY Brockport and Rhode Island College. Streb has received numerous other awards and fellowships including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987; a Brandeis Creative Arts Award in 1991; two New York Dance and Performance Awards (Bessie Awards), in 1988 and 1999 for her “sustained investigation of movement;” a Doris Duke Artist Award in 2013; and over 30 years of on-going support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In 2009, Streb was the Danspace Project Honoree. She served on Mayor Bloomberg’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and is a member of the board of the Jerome and Camargo Foundations.

Major commissions for choreography include: Lincoln Center Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, MOCA, LA Temporary Contemporary, the Whitney Museum of Art, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the Park Avenue Armory, and London 2012, the Cultural Olympiad for the Summer Games.

Born to Fly aired on PBS on May 11, 2014 and is currently available on Netflix and iTunes. OXD, directed by Craig Lowy, which follows STREB at the 2012 London Olympics, premiered at the IFC theater in New York City on February 2, 2016. Streb and her company have also been featured in PopAction by Michael Blackwood, on PBS’s In The Life and Great Performances, The David Letterman Show, BBC World News, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS This Morning, Business Insider, CNN’s Weekend Today, MTV, on the National Public Radio shows Studio 360 and Science Friday, on Larry King Live, and on an episode of Bob Garfield’s “Genius Dialogues,” available on Audible.


Wendy Whelan

Cassandre Joseph, STREB Associate Artistic Director

CassandrE Joseph

STREB Associate Artistic Director

Cassandre Joseph was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her investigation in movement began at the age of 4 with the sport of gymnastics. Over a span of twenty years as a competitive gymnast, she earned several state and regional titles. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in English Literature and studied journalism at Temple University’s graduate communications program. She joined Streb in 2007 as an instructor and company member and when she is not seen in a rehearsal or teaching classes at SLAM she has been seen ziplining across the Park Avenue Armory, scaling the walls of the Bergdorf building and dancing on the spokes of the London Eye. In addition to her performance work with the company Joseph is the Creative Director of the STREB Kid Company since 2010. For the STREB Kid Company, she has choreographed and self-produced three evening length works: Heroes (2015), Momentum (2016) and Navigation (2017). For the past 6 years she has acted as STREB’s education liaison.  In September 2017, Joseph was appointed Associate Artistic Director of STREB Extreme Action and is now in charge of overseeing SLAM’s education program. She is a strong believer in the transformative power of movement and is passionate about empowering young people to push boundaries and expand their notions of what is possible. She is grateful to do what she loves every day and to work for a real life genius! When she is not creating action events at STREB, she can be found training her daughter Nia to be a mini-action hero.

Fabio Tavares
Fabio Tavares

Fabio Tavares

Fabio Tavares is a Brazilian dancer and choreographer who’s been obsessed with the human body in action for as long as he can remember. At the age of 15, Fabio ran away to join the circus in his native Brazil in what turned out to be the beginning of a lifelong career performing and studying movement. After moving to NYC in 1999, Fabio began studying Klein Technique™, The Alexander Technique, and Zero Balancing, eventually getting certified in all three modalities, 

In addition to creating and performing his own original work, Fabio has also danced, performed and collaborated with many incredible worldly renowned artists over the years. Most significantly, he worked with STREB- Extreme Action for 14 years where he served as the Associate Artistic Director for a decade. The demanding, high-impact nature of the STREB choreography led Fabio to an even deeper appreciation of those body-mind systems to keep his spine flexible and his joints healthy. He was also an adjunct professor at PACE University, NYC, 2014 – 2017 and presently teaches at the Susan Klein School of Movement and Dance in Tribeca, NYC. Fabio maintains a busy practice making art, teaching and healing.

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Additional faculty and guest artists for the 2019 workshop will be announced shortly.