Liss Fain Dance, a San Francisco-based contemporary company known for its site-specific works, presents the New York premiere of The Water is Clear and Still - a combination of the powerful choreography of Liss Fain and the spoken text of Jamaica Kincaid's sharp-edged and beautiful short story collection, At the Bottom of the River. Comprised of six dancers, an actor, original music, and an interactive audience, The Water is Clear and Still encompasses the 5,000 square foot Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn.
A work of intimacy and unpredictability, The Water is Clear and Still creates an intricate portrait of a woman and a place and the interchangeable nature of perception and ephemeral distinction between fantasy and reality. Jamaica Kincaid's only short fiction collection, At the Bottom of the River (1983), is comprised of 10 short stories: semi-autobiographical pieces that explore familial relationships, and perceptions of people through momentary scenes rife with emotionally evocative images. A critical success, the collection was awarded the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. "Kincaid's text propels one into a world that is fluid and simultaneously soft and harsh," Liss Fain said. "The movements in this work will fluctuate as unpredictably as the text."
The audience, walking at will and weaving in and out of the set and immersive sound environment, sees the work at close range and from multiple perspectives. The set, a river in a strangely eerie and surreal grove of trees, oddly juxtaposes both naturalistic and surreal elements. This performance installation generates a riveting and palpable energy - the dance, the spoken text, the set, the sound environment and the rhythms of people walking, standing and shifting focus.
The creative team working with choreographer Liss Fain includes composer Dan Wool with a commissioned score; Matthew Antaky designing the set and lighting, projection designer Frédéric Boulay and costume designer Mary Domenico. The dancers are Jeremiah Crank, Katharine Hawthorne, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Alec Lytton, and Carson Stein.
The New York premiere of The Water is Clear and Still, Powerhouse Arena, 37 Main St., Brooklyn (DUMBO), Train: F to York, A/C to High, 2/3 to Clark, or 2/3/4/5 to Borough Hall. It will play Thursday, March 7th and Friday, March 8th at 8:30pm (post-performance book signing w/ Jamaica Kincaid on March 7th). Tickets: $25. To purchase, visit www.powerhousearena.com.
LFD, a six-member contemporary company based in San Francisco, fuses modern dance's forceful energy with the kinetic precision of ballet. Liss Fain has more than 45 pieces to her credit, many of which integrate the work of film-makers, video artists, composers, actors, and technologists. These collaborations include work with the Apple Multimedia Lab, MIT, San Francisco Exploratorium, Word for Word Performing Arts Company, Kikkum Media, and many others. Her 2007 collaboration, Flood, with film-makers Drew Takahashi and Richard Kizu-Blair, was presented by Jacob's Pillow. LFD presents collaborations, performance installations and pure dance pieces by Liss Fain and invited choreographers from around the world. Her work expresses the unpredictable course of events that comprise one's life and peoples' responses to unforeseen situations. For the past six years LFD has performed at festivals in Germany, Poland, Belarus and St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2006 the company appeared daily at Southside Theater in Edinburgh during a three-week residency as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. International appearances have been sponsored U.S. Embassies in host countries, Trust for Mutual Understanding, USAI, Dance USA, Silesian Dance Festival, the Open Look Festival and International Dance Forum. LFD's performance installations were launched in 2010 at Beck & Eggeling Gallery. For more information, visit www.lissfaindance.org.