Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Review: Liss Fain Dance Performs Engrossing THE WATER IS CLEAR AND STILL

The Water is Clear and Still is set in an immersive performance installation, seen at close range and from multiple perspectives. It was a one hour exhibit of pure flight, infinite extensions, wistful dancing, emotional connections and exploratory art, based on Jamaica Kincaid's short stories from the collection, AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER.

The evening opened with actress Val Sinckler, who set the mood as she walked slowly and reflectively to the audience caressing a scarf of African earth tone color. She stepped up to the installation and climbed the stairs to place her scarf over a banister. In a soft, tender voice she began to speak, "in the night, way into the middle of the night when the night isn't divided like a sweet drink into little sips..."

The dancers, placed at different points in the space, pounded their chest in rhythm, as if starting a chant. Once in unison, the dancers began to move, interpreting the nuances and cadence of Val Sinckler's voice. Each sentence was met with swooping jumps, beautiful port de bras, fluid lines and uplifting spirits. Their faces expressed serenity and peace, although there were times when darker emotions were called for. The audience was encouraged to move around and through the set, but I was so engrossed in the story and the close proximity to the performers that I didn't want to lose my seat, nor miss a beat.

The six dancers: Jeremiah Crank, Katherine Hawthorne, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Alec Lytton, and Carson Stein were always impressive, utilizing the exhibition space of the Powerhouse Arena, a boutique bookstore and an event space designed by famed architect, David Howell. Choreographer, Liss Fain, struck the perfect balance by harmonizing the dancers, the choreography and the tone of the actor's voice, granting the audience the freedom to move with this constant flow of energy.

Liss Fain Dance tours nationally and internationally with work for proscenium stages and performance installations. Her work ranges from pure dance pieces to collaborations with composers, set designers, videographers and actors.

Related Articles

From This Author - Elisa Kimble

Elisa L. Kimble is a performing artist, freelance writer. In addition to writing for Elisa writes for Precious Times magazine as the music editor. (read more...)