Jessica Kennedy, a 5th grade teacher at New Brunswick’s Roosevelt Elementary School gives us her review of the dance group STREB’s recent school day performance on Feb. 4. Also, the kids themselves share a few words with us.
Inertia, motion, force, energy, load, effort, work...the kids are making so many connections to our just-completed science unit on levers & pulleys: today they are seeing trained artist-athletes interact with machines. And it is beautiful. I've never seen the excitement level so high: in the first 5 minutes, when i heard a kid behind me shout, "I LOVE THESE PEOPLE." The loud music, the lights....as fun and unpredictable—and scary—as any rock concert i've ever been to. I ADORE, and so do the kids, the subversive boom of directions hurled among the performers...a vital communication missing from all the dance I’ve ever seen...Could there be a more perfect break in the tedium of almost two months of cancelled outdoor recreation at school, where the kids have to sit quietly in the auditorium during recess, because the teachers need to park their cars on the "blacktop" instead of the icy streets. Something like this gives me a much-needed referent to talk about art, commitment, passion...possibilities...wish dance were emphasized as much as sports in our schools.
Glad I was with my 10-year-olds who could explain to me exactly what was going on...they missed nothing! Evocative of Houdini, the first woman to go over Niagara Falls...How brilliant when physical and intellectual bravery are experienced hand in hand.
Reviews from Jessica Kennedy’s 5th grade class:
AJ: “That show made us excited and still. Elizabeth Streb is a genius for making Streb.”
AP: “It reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci. The part where the women spread out like a star reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci’s VITRUVIAN MAN!”
SM: “Streb is unspeakable. It took my breath away. Amazing.”
AA: “The performance was so awesome. Everyone was cheering for Streb when the performance ended.”
KB: “I thought STREB actioneers had a lot of skills. When everyone was in the box I was speechless, also when they were doing their dives. AMAZING'.”
DV: “My favorite part is when the performers climbed this ladder to get on this moving bar. Then this performer said to move the bar as up as it can so she can jump off it, then everyone was screaming then she jumped for the bar and landed on a drop bed and I was amazed. I loved it.”
MA: “My favorite part of the show is the part when you guys got on the round circle because you guys were brave and I saw your owner he was cool you guys rock!”
DS: “The polar wander was the coolest performance in the show.”
JB: “My favorite part was when all of the actors threw themselves from the high spot. It was amazing because it was a high height.”
PM: “This performance was so great!! I was scared when they threw yourselves from a high surface to a sponge all the way down to the floor!!!”
SM: “I liked the way the performers threw themselves off the poles.”
EH: “The show was amazing. They threw themselves like if they action figures. Please be careful when you perform. Have luck when you perform.”