We value your support now more than ever.

All year we’ve been covering the issues that matter most to you—the pandemic, the election, policing, housing, and more—and now our end of year membership campaign is here. Will you support our work to ensure we can bring you the same informative local reporting in 2021?

SATURDAY

Visitors to the daredevil museums of Niagara Falls can’t help noting the dichotomy between the scarred hulks of the rigid barrels on display and the fragile contents they occasionally squired to safety. The dancers of STREB are both container and cargo; they have only muscle and bone to shield themselves from serious harm as they pitch themselves from heights, throw themselves into one another, bounce off trampolines, smack into walls, and burst through panes of glass. Conceived by New York choreographer Elizabeth Streb as an homage to such thrill-seekers as stunt cyclist Evel Knievel, funambulist Philippe Petit, barrel rider Annie Taylor, and Cannonball Richards (who either stopped projectiles or was one himself, depending on whether you’re talking about Frank or George), “Action Heroes” owes as much to acrobatics and gymnastics as it does to dance. Shouts and grunts explode from both stage and seats as the dancers execute graceful, risky movements with split-second timing. When the soundtrack to the multimedia performance doesn’t involve triphop, ambient, surf instrumentals, or pop classics like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (for a Busby Berkeley-inspired routine in which the dancers’ movements are multiplied by a mirror), the air resonates with the amplified, inelastic slap of flesh against mat. Streb is fond of thinking of her work as “transgressive,” but her dancers don’t so much cross boundaries as hurl themselves against them. Gravity is challenged but never denied. STREB honors the daring of individual entertainers with acts of collective sang-froid. And unlike the survivors of Niagara, the performers leave nothing to chance. The performance begins at 8 p.m. (with a discussion of the piece beginning at 7:15 p.m.) Saturday, Feb. 2, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $20-$40. (703) 218-6500. (Glenn Dixon)