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A nyone who's jumped on a bed or plunged off a high-dive platform or had an airborne dream understands the wish to fly. But unlike most of us, choreographer Elizabeth Streb believes that wish can come true--and sets out to prove it. Recipient of a 1997 MacArthur "genius" grant, the choreographer puts the performers in her amazing company, Streb, in motion using trampolines, bungee cords, wires hanging from the ceiling, and a "flying machine" that suspends the dancer on a rotating arm; her performers fill the air with their grunts and yells, and mikes pick up the sounds of their bodies hitting various surfaces. Other times they might scramble up a wall by means of a ballet bar or walk a high wire or clamber across a vertical sheet of clear plastic like tree frogs. And sometimes they just dive or somersault or back flip onto big puffy cushions--especially impressive when the tramp is used as a springboard. The piece Streb is performing this weekend, Streb Go: ActionHeroes, is said to be inspired by daredevils and stuntmen--but what Streb work isn't? (Her company was here last in 1995, at the Skyline Stage, and before that in 1991 on what looked like a jungle gym at the State of Illinois Building.) She said in an interview a few years ago that her work is "completely dangerous--and I'm not interested in anything else." That drive gives her work its edge but also limits it. Her choreography, such as it is, tends to be repetitive, and an evening of it is a bit like a fireworks display: feats stop registering if they don't top what we've seen before. Still, there's something charming about her determination to fly, and something poignant about gravity's ultimate victory. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010. Opens Thursday, February 7, 7 PM. Through February 9: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $22, $17 for MCA members. Note: Thursday's performance is a benefit that begins with a reception at 6 PM; tickets are $75-$150. And Streb leads a "pop-action" workshop for dancers, gymnasts, and other movement artists Saturday, February 9, at 2 PM. $15, $10 with a Streb Go: ActionHeroes ticket. Call 312-397-4010 for information.

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