(New Brunswick, NJ)-— Next month, a hand-picked group of teenagers will make their debuts simultaneously with the State Theatre and the Brooklyn-based STREB company. The 15 high school students, from Emily Fisher Charter School in Trenton, are part of an innovative new project known as SLAM Remote. The project is the brainchild of Elizabeth Streb, founder and artistic director of the eponymous performing group.
SLAM Remote will use interactive video technology to connect performers and audiences in two different venues: Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick and the STREB Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM) in Brooklyn. Audiences in both locations will see part of the show performed right in front of them, and part of the show onscreen via live-time streaming. At the Brooklyn site, the STREB ensemble will launch into their high-flying, death-defying routines. Midway through the performance, the action will switch to Crossroads and the student group from Emily Fisher Charter School.
In preparation for the event, instructors from STREB will travel to Trenton each Monday in November for a series of five workshops. The Emily Fisher students will learn the basics of STREB's "Pop Action" technique, then create their performance piece.
"The students are excited to work with the STREB company on a collaborative project that will highlight the skills obtained in the residency," recently commented Michele Miller, a teacher at the school.
A longtime State Theatre favorite, STREB is famous for their "extreme action" performances—a unique fusion of cutting-edge technology, dance, sports, gymnastics, and the American circus. Their performances are equally famous for creating a dynamic interaction between the audience and performers. SLAM Remote is their latest experiment in creating an artist-audience interface for this age of technology.
The STREB Remote performance is on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 7pm. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Contact: jcunha@StateTheatreNJ.org / 732-246-7469, ext. 545.
"We designed SLAM Remote to create community by unleashing personal creativity, engaging audiences and building ongoing relationships," commented STREB's Executive Director Kim Cullen. The State Theatre has hosted numerous performances and workshops with the STREB company; this is the first time that residency activities will take place offsite and the first time that the collaboration will result in a performance that includes local students.
STREB creator Elizabeth Streb explains her vision. "Throughout my career, my goal has always been to create a motion lexicon that all humans recognize. I call it POP ACTION and it exists now, not only on stage as a fusion of dance, sports, gymnastics, and the American circus—but also in a place, SLAM, where an exchange of human acts takes place everyday enriching my vocabulary and hopefully expanding the lives of my company's co-conspirators, the audience. My aim is to create work that speaks of and to everyday human potential." She continues, "I want my work to make all of us want to do more, go further. We invent action ideas which we think are archetypal, noticeable, and understandable. The outcome is a mixture of slam dancing, exquisite and amazing human flight and a wild action sport which captures kids, older people and the general public's hearts and minds and bodies. I believe that action—on the stage and in the street— is the most powerful force on earth."
SLAM REMOTE is funded by Dance/USA's Engaging Dance Audiences program and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Through their support, the residency is free of charge to the participating students as well as the general public.
The State Theatre, a premier nonprofit venue for the performing arts and entertainment. The theater exists to enrich people's lives, contribute to a vital urban environment, and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. The State Theatre's programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. Continental Airlines is the official airline of the State Theatre. The Heldrich is the official hotel of the State Theatre. Magic 98. 3 is the official radio station of the State Theatre. The Star-Ledger is the official newspaper of the State Theatre.