Known Once comes to life

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After the first month of intensive rehearsals for Known Once, artistic director Liss Fain shares some thoughts about how ideas change and how she is exploring the stories of the seniors and young people that the company worked with last fall.

From Liss: How to create a work about memory and perception, about connections with people that were lasting or transient, a piece that embodies the people we worked with in the fall? I’ve listened to the stories the seniors told us again and again. How do we convey the feeling in their stories and voices?

It’s been a month of intense rehearsals. I walked in with a lot of ideas that got changed quickly. As we developed the movement, my ideas about how to use the stories the seniors and students told us shifted, my original plan for the design of the installation turned topsy-turvy, and the tone I had thought the piece would take veered in another direction. This Wednesday was the day my concepts reset. The installation design shifted dramatically, becoming more fluid, less rigid, and the missing connections in the choreography became clear—more partnerings, shifting partnering, more large group movement sections.

The individuality of the dancers brings physical and emotional clarity to this piece. I am fortunate and thankful to be working with five strong, thoughtful and adventurous people.

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Photos: RJ Muna (top), LFD

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Author: lissfaindance

Liss Fain’s work ranges from pure dance pieces to collaborations with composers, lighting and set designers, videographers, actors and technologists. The company presents performance installations that bring the audience inside the set and close to the performers, proscenium performances, artistic exchanges with companies from abroad and free public outreach performance events. Liss Fain’s work expresses the unpredictable course of events that comprise one’s life and peoples’ responses to unforeseen situations. Non-narrative, highly physical and emotionally powerful, her work fuses modern dance’s forceful energy with the kinetic precision of ballet.The company has performed and taught at festivals and venues in Poland, Germany, Belarus, Russia and the UK as well as colleges, universities, festivals and presenting organizations in the US. Their home seasons in San Francisco are presented at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Z Space.

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