STREB Board of Directors Announces New Executive Director
Former dancer Christine Chen returns to company in leadership role
Brooklyn, NY, August 22, 2019:
The Board of Trustees of STREB announces that Christine Chen has been appointed the organization’s Executive Director. As a former member of the STREB Extreme Action Company, the seasoned arts administrator knows what it means to literally defy gravity while balancing organizational operations with artistry and meaningful community engagement.
Ms. Chen comes to STREB from the 92nd Street Y, where she served as Director of Strategic Programming, overseeing the Adult Education and Dance departments, as well as 92Y’s strategic programming initiatives.
STREB Board President Andrea Woodner comments, “Christine has an incredible amount of knowledge about the organization and its mission, and coupled with her experience at the 92nd Street Y and American Repertory Ballet, she is the ideal person to move us forward. I look forward to supporting her vision for all that is possible for the remarkable STREB – Christine is truly our new Action Hero!”
Ms. Chen will be working closely with founding Artistic Director Elizabeth Streb, who has been called the Evel Knievel of dance. Elizabeth intertwines the disciplines of dance, athletics, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt-work. She founded STREB in 1985, which performs internationally in theaters, museums, and town squares. She established SLAM (STREB Lab for Action Mechanics) in 2003, a factory space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which produces extreme action performances and invites everyday people to wonder about movement, gravity, and flight.
“Christine Chen is our current moment Jedi,” says Streb. “She will lead us to new frontiers of Action; forward, up and around at dizzying speeds because she does know how to fly. I speak for the entire STREB Extreme Action Company when I say we couldn’t be more thrilled.”
“I am honored to be returning to STREB in this new role.” Christine continues, “STREB has been an inspiration and empowering force in my life over the last few decades – as an audience member, performer, educator, former board member, and as a student – with my husband and son – at the trapeze academy. Elizabeth’s singular vision, and all the ways it’s explored, presented and taught at SLAM, has a profound ability to break down barriers, transform the way that we see ourselves and how we engage with the world around us.”
Prior to joining 92Y in 2014, Christine served as Executive Director of American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School. Highlights from her professional dance career include performing internationally with STREB Extreme Action Company, including at the Montreal Jazz Festival with Cirque du Soleil and with AXIS Dance Company in works by Bill T. Jones and Stephen Petronio at the 2002 Salt Lake Cultural Olympiad. She holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University in Sociology, an MFA in Dance from the Ohio State University and an MBA in Strategic Management from the University of California.
For more than 40 years, Elizabeth Streb’s organizing principle “Extreme Action,” has been at the center of the organization. Extreme Action is a movement style that thrills audiences with choreographed feats of physicality, scientifically planned chaos, strength, risk, grace, and elegance, STREB engages diverse audiences and communities via a broad range of performance and education programming that provides access to, and participation in, creation and presentation.
STREB has performed in theaters large and small and served as artists-in-residence at the world’s top art museums. At the same time, STREB has taken its work into the streets and nontraditional venues throughout the world: at Grand Central Station; in front of the Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island; under the arches of the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage; and on the mall outside of the Smithsonian Institution. Touring
venues and festivals have included the London Olympics, Lincoln Center Festival, Fall for Dance Festival, Walker Art Center, Wexner Center, Spoleto USA, the Barbican Center, Theatre de la Ville, Summer Nostos Festival in Athens, Greece, and more in Australia, Canada, Chile, Singapore, Taiwan, and beyond.