Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity

Not just a choreographer, Elizabeth Streb is a wildly extreme action architect who pushes herself and her dancers to expand their horizons.

Born to fly 01
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
May 11, 2015
60 minutes
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2015 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming
  • Catherine gund filmmaker bio

    Catherine Gund

    Catherine Gund is an Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer, and organizer. Her media work focuses on arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, the environment, and other social justice issues. Her films have screened around the world in festivals, theaters, museums, and schools; on PBS, Discovery’s Planet Green, and the Sundance Show more Channel. Before Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity, Gund directed What’s on Your Plate? , a critically-acclaimed multimedia project about kids and food politics, featuring a documentary, book, and standards-based curriculum. Gund’s previous works include Motherland Afghanistan (PBS broadcast); A Touch of Greatness (Best Documentary Award: Hamptons Film Festival, Ohio Film Festival, and Denver International Film Festival; PBS broadcast; Emmy nomination); and Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance. In 1996, she co-founded the Third Wave Foundation, which targets grants and programs to young women between 15 and 30, as well as Aubin Pictures, a non-profit media production company, which promotes cultural and social awareness and change. Gund lives with her four children in New York City. Show less

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    The Film

    Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity is the story of a choreographer sometimes called "the Evel Knievel of dance." In over 30 years of practice, she is the pioneer of a movement form called “POPACTION,” which is couched in the exploration of human potential – both physical and emotional. Guided by Elizabeth Streb’s theory of movement – to walk on walls, dive through glass, move so fast dancers disappear and fly – the film asks: Can adrenaline be a form of medicine? When does movement become art?

    Born to Fly traces the evolution of the “extreme action architect“ Streb’s more than 30 years of movement philosophy, and culminates with Streb and her dancers preparing and presenting gravity-defying performances in London’s Cultural Olympiad leading up to the 2012 Olympics.