Liss Fain Dance, The Water is Clear and Still
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.
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