Ahh. Visually striking dance movies—there's nothing like them. From the 3D, Academy-Award nominated Pina to the probing, New-York-City-Ballet-behind-the-scenes, Ballet 422, movies that take the awesomeness of dance to a new visual level are always the best ever. Well, dance-on-camera fans, rejoice! There's a new film coming out this month that promises to be extremely bold and beautiful.

Members of STREB Extreme Action performing "Sky Walk," as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
(photo by Esy Casey)

Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity comes out next week, after rave reviews at the SXSW Film Festival this spring. Following Streb and her STREB Extreme Action dancers movers, the film highlights the choreographer's contributions to dance, art and the quest for human flight—though sometimes at the cost of her company members' safety. But as Streb (aka the Evel Knievel of dance) says in the film, "Anything too safe is not action." Plus, it's insanely exciting—talk about a serious adrenaline rush—to watch the dancers bounding from incredible heights, spinning in a human hamster wheel and rappelling from buildings. Take a look at the trailer below—we promise, you'll be hooked:

Dying to see Born to Fly? Click here for a list of showtimes.

June 19th marks the start of NYC Dance Week 2014—a.k.a. a huge perk for dancers spending their summer in the Big Apple. For 10 days (until June 28th), NYC Dance Week offers free(!!) and discounted dance and fitness classes throughout the city. So if you're in or around NYC, be sure to check out these highlights:

Contemporary class at The Ailey Extension
(Photo Kyle Froman)

Channel Elle Magazine’s recent fashion feature and stop into an Ailey Extension class at the Ailey Studios. This Friday, TweetBoogie is holding a free hip-hop class from 6:30–8:30 pm. The Ailey Extension is also offering an extra free class to any studio newbies, and returning students can take advantage of discounted class cards.

STREB in rehearsal for Human Fountain.
(photo courtesy City Center)

Other major studios are also getting involved: Peridance Capezio Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, Ballet Academy East and Gina Gibney Dance Center are all offering free and discounted classes. But you might consider stepping out of your comfort zone—the classes are free after all. Get your flipping, tucking and Parkour-ing on with a free session at STREB@SLAM, the home of Elizabeth Streb’s company STREB EXTREME ACTION.

Want to add in some fitness? There are countless Zumba, yoga and Pilates classes on the list—great for cross-training to prepare for your summer intensive. And if you have any questions about an injury or nutrition, bring them to one of The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries free Q&A and injury prevention seminars.

For the full list of events and classes in styles ranging from capoeira to Bollywood to tap to something called Ballet Gymnastics (um, yes please!), visit the NYC Dance Week website. See you in class!

If you're familiar with choreographer Elizabeth Streb—and you should be, because she's awesome—you know that she's all about extremes. (Her company is called STREB EXTREME ACTION, after all.) A risk-taker who's always thinking outside the (theater) box, she's no stranger to daredevil stunts that involve trampolines and bungee cords.

Yesterday, as part of the London 2012 festival leading up to the Summer Olympics, Streb and her dancers "ambushed" London in a performance called Surprises: Streb. They appeared as if out of nowhere at landmark locations all over the city: the Millennium Bridge, the London Eye, the National Theatre. And they didn't just use these beautiful sites as backdrops. In true Streb fashion, they danced on them—that is, when they weren't launching themselves off of them.

This is one of those events that's better described in pictures than in words, so check out the gallery of jaw-dropping photos below. It looks like it was a crazy—and crazily beautiful—performance.

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