Liss Fain Dance to Put on Free Preview at Z Space

Next month Liss Fain Dance will unveil her latest performance installation, KNOWN ONCE, based on personal stories collected in partnership with 826 Valencia, a San Francisco-based organization that supports writing and literacy in young people, and The Redwoods, a mixed-income residential community for seniors in Mill Valley.

Known Once runs Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21 at Z Space. Tickets are $21 to $36, and may be purchased online at There will be a free preview on May 18.

After six years of creating performance installations inspired by literature, Liss Fain draws on direct, social research for Known Once. Last fall Fain and her company dancers - Sonja Dale, Katharine Hawthorne, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige and Sarah Dionne Woods-LaDue - worked closely with youth and senior participants in a series of storytelling and movement workshops at 826 Valencia and The Redwoods.

"This piece is about time and memory," said choreographer and Artistic Director Liss Fain. "In getting to know the seniors and students and listening to their stories, I saw that the energy and openness of the middle schoolers was just as alive in the 90-year-olds. The seniors have a honed lens to observe their past through; and the young people demonstrate a surprising perspicacity about the events of their short lives. I'm fascinated by how over time our memories change, and how the same event appears different from different points of view. Known Once juxtaposes the experiences of two different populations at different stages of life."

"One of the real challenges of making this piece has been the process of turning the collected stories and the physical expression of our workshop participants into dance phrases," continued Fain. "For example, one of the participants, age 95, has arthritis in his hands, and his uneven and awkward movements are a source of movement invention for us. Our goal is not necessarily to formulate pretty movement."

"The workshop participants will experience their stories and movement transformed into a performance that encompasses the dancers and the audience in a shared world."

Members of Fain's creative team include composer Dan Wool, who will incorporate the recorded and edited stories of the seniors and youth into an original musical score, scenic designer Matthew Antaky, and costume designer Mary Domenico.

Liss Fain Dance (LFD) is a San Francisco-based Dance Company whose work expresses the unpredictable course of events that comprise one's life. Liss Fain's highly physical, emotionally resonant choreography fuses modern dance's forceful energy with the kinetic precision of ballet. Since 2010, LFD has focused on the creation of evening-length installation works that bring together dance, music and literature inside unique Visual Environments.

LFD's performance installations integrate dance with spoken text and immersive set and sound environments in theaters, non-proscenium venues, unusual architectural structures, public spaces and libraries. The architecture of the installation and the variety of perspectives this creates for the audience is pivotal to the experience of these works, which are created in an intensely collaborative process with designers, composers, actors and dancers.

LFD tours nationally and internationally and presents annual home seasons in San Francisco. The artistic vision of the company is shaped by ongoing partnerships with designer Matthew Antaky, composer Dan Wool, costume designer Mary Domenico and projection designer Frédéric O. Boulay.

Founded in Boston in 1988, LFD has premiered more than 50 large-scale works by Fain. The company's innovative performances and collaborations began with projects at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies and, after moving to San Francisco in 1990, continued with collaborations with set and lighting designers, composers, filmmakers, videographers and technologists.

LFD performs annual home seasons at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Z Space, and ODC Theater in San Francisco. The company's presence beyond the Bay Area extends to the East Coast through performances at 3LD Art & Technology Center, Powerhouse Arena, and Downtown Dance Festival in New York; the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Dance Umbrella, Harvard University, Clark University, and MIT in Massachusetts; and Colby College in Maine. LFD has performed at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles and has toured to Poland, Germany, Belarus, Russia, and the UK.



Liss Fain Dance

Artistic Director and Choreographer Liss Fain

Composer and Sound Designer Dan Wool

Scenic Designer Matthew Antaky

Costume Designer Mary Domenico

Dancers: Sonja Dale, Katharine Hawthorne, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Sarah Dionne Woods-LaDue

WHEN: May 19 - 21, 2017
Friday and Saturday @ 8 p.m.
Sunday @ 2 p.m.

WHERE: Z Space, 450 Florida StreetSan Francisco, CA 94110

TICKETS: $21 - $36
Online at, or by calling 800-838-3006.


Photo Credits: (left) Benjamin Hersh; (top right) by Sarah Woods-LaDue; (bottom right) Megan Kurashige.

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