Liss Fain Dance presents the choreography of Artistic Director Liss Fain, primarily in the form of public performances in both the U.S. and overseas. Liss Fain's work—vibrant, abstract contemporary dance pieces for proscenium and non-traditional spaces—fuses modern dance’s forceful energy with the kinetic precision of ballet. There is a formal structure to her work that is non-narrative yet emotionally and kinetically powerful. In her work, the dance, the music and the visual environment are an indivisible unit. In the past ten years, Liss Fain Dance has premiered over 15 new works by Ms. Fain, including a number of pieces created in collaboration with artists from other disciplines including composers, film makers, musicians and technologists; she has also worked with creative organizations that include MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, The Exploratorium and The Apple Multimedia Lab.
The company's home season takes place at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In addition to YBCA, the company annually performs at other local venues, primarily pro bono as a form of outreach to the community; examples from the last two years include Jewels in the Square, San Francisco International Arts Festival, Marin Arts Salon and the Mint Plaza opening.
Recent and upcoming touring in the U.S. includes performances at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and California State Summer School of the Arts. Past venues also include Harvard University, MIT, University of Massachusetts, Colby College and Clark University; Theater Artaud, Cowell Theater, Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, the International Computer Music Conference, and the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
International Dance Exchange-Artists (IDEA)
The company also presents its work internationally sponsored by groups that include U.S. Embassies in the host country, the Open Look Festival, Trust for Mutual Understanding, USAI, Silesian Dance Festival, and International Dance Forum. The company performed in 2007, 2008 and 2009 at festivals in Poland and Belarus and this year (2009) added St. Petersburg, Russia to the tour. In 2006 the company performed daily at Southside Theater in Edinburgh in a three week residency as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Over the last four years the company has, while remaining anchored in its San Francisco base, built a major national and international touring component. Beginning in fall 2009, LFD inaugurates the next phase of its expansion with the International Dance Exchange—Artists. With IDEA, in addition to a continued expansion of international touring, LFD will be hosting international guest artists in SF-based residencies where they will teach workshops, work with LFD in rehearsal and participate in the company's annual YBCA Home Season. This project is supported by grants from both U.S. and European foundations as well as the European dance companies themselves.
For the August 2009 YBCA Home Season concerts, Ms. Fain brought Lublin Dance Theatre's artistic director and choreographer, Ryszard Kalinowsky, along with one of his dancers, to perform Towards the Good Silence at YBCA and teach workshops in choreographic technique. Funding for this exchange was being provided by the Polish Cultural Institute in New York and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (major funding for international performances has come from festivals, the US Embassies and foundations).
Plans are underway with other European International artists about collaborations, including bilateral exchanges of workshops and shared performances in one another's countries. Performances will juxtapose pieces of work from each company. Eventually Liss Fain Dance and the partnering company's members will collaboratively design a choreographic exchange where dancers from the two companies would perform the choreography of both Liss Fain and the guest choreographer.
Liss Fain Dance is a non-profit organization supported by donations from individuals as well as funding from organizations that include: USAI; the Trust for Mutual Understanding; the US Embassy in Poland; the US Embassy in Belarus; the Polish Cultural Institute in New York; the Kellogg Foundation; Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship; the NEA; the San Francisco Arts Commission; the Zellerbach Family Foundation; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; The Walter A. Gerbode Foundation; C.A.S.H.; the Fort Mason Foundation; the Marin Arts Council; the Tides Foundation.