On the Fly

Streb's athletes create the thinking person's circus

Music also provides the ultimate ironic jolt. As the screen slowly tilts backward, slides forward, and lies flat to reveal the wheel for the finale, Revolution, the portentous brass chords and drumbeats of Richard Strauss's Also Spracht Zarathustra thunder out. But the composer's reference to Nietzsche and his superior human is also the epochal opening of the film 2001and its outer-space-focused vision of mankind's future. The music changes into something blander as Bartlett begins slowly walking within the wheel. But Streb has made her point. These dancers are pioneers and heroes; even as they thrill the watching audience with spectacle and theatricality, they're testing what human beings can accomplish.

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