Photo by Mary Ellen Mark.

Photo by Mary Ellen Mark.

Elizabeth Streb is an action architect, movement visionary, and the founder of the STREB dance company. 

In July 2012, at the age of 62, Elizabeth Streb strapped herself into a harness and walked down the face of a ten-story building. The close-up shots reveal this was not easy: her lips tighten, the veins in her neck bulge, but she continues to walk towards the pavement.

Born in Rochester, NY in 1950, Streb was an adventurous child who loved to downhill ski, fast. After studying dance in college and riding her motorcycle across the country to California, Streb settled in New York City and began a decades long investigation into the possibilities of movement and physics.  

In 2003, Streb established SLAM (STREB Lab for Action Mechanics) in a converted garage in Brooklyn, NY. With SLAM, Streb has created an innovative, multi-use space and a model of sustainability and community-building for arts organizations. SLAM serves as a school for adults and children, a rented rehearsal space for dancers, circus performers and other artists, and the homebase for her dancers, the STREB Extreme Action Company. 

Streb is a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 'Genius' Award (1997) and is a member of the New York City Mayor's Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission. n 2011, she was commissioned by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Mayor of London to participate in the London 2012 Festival. On July 15, 2012, Streb and her company performed “One Extraordinary Day,” a series of daredevil events on landmarks throughout the city of London. 

In 2010 Feminist Press published Streb's autobiography, How to Become an Extreme Action Hero