Posted by Amber Bell
Having just moved here, Kristy Edmunds’ farewell was also my introduction to Portland. Standing in the crowd of thousands last night in Pioneer square, I felt welcomed. Listening to heartfelt descriptions of Kristy’s decade of work with PICA made me fully appreciate what I am being offered as a newcomer to this city; a vibrant, action packed art scene where I am invited to participate. Incredible.
Also incredible was the performance that followed the multimedia tribute to Kristy.
STREB. Seven bodies, throwing themselves into the air and falling to the earth. Seven stunningly built bodies, using every muscle. Defining the laws of physics with superpowered demonstrations.
Dancers yelled cues to each other, creating a language for their own game of human interaction. At times they were like school kids, swinging on the bars, mimicking movements, climbing and jumping from the highest point possible. At other times, they were graceful air swimmers, soaring and diving. At all times they were powerful, precise, and in tune with each other. A smooth running machine.
Speaking of machines, Streb used a lot of fancy equipment. A gigantic trampoline was simultaneously an understated prop and a vital necessity. Bungee cords, mammoth elastic straps, and concrete blocks swinging as pendulums were less understated, but equally vital to the pieces. All sets were scaled to accommodate an audience of 7,000.
The performance spanned from goofy to dangerous, touching at various times on both breathtaking and claustrophobic. It was so acrobatically captivating that it was easy to be absorbed by subject matter that was straightforward, even if it was a glossary on the laws of physics.
STREB was a sensational way to begin ten days of what I anticipate to be phenomenal performances. I can’t wait.