Liss Fain Dance tours nationally and internationally with work for proscenium stages and performance installations. 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. 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 resonant, her work fuses modern dance’s forceful energy with the kinetic precision of ballet.

“…communicates with its intelligence, clarity of purpose, and rich, tight choreography.” —SF Bay Guardian

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Outreach and Engagement

The Liss Fain Dance outreach and education program provides opportunities for students from a broad spectrum of communities to combine dance and movement with creative writing. By working with Liss Fain and members of the company, students expand their creativity, imaginations, and abilities to communicate and interpret both abstract and concrete ideas through movement and writing.

Liss Fain Dance partners with 826 Valencia, an outstanding San Francisco organization that supports writing and literacy in young people, for an ongoing series of workshops that focus on the creation and integration of movement and text. The company will be expanding this program to present workshops in conjunction with various public libraries and creative writing programs.

Liss Fain Dance also offers pre-professional and professional dancers the opportunity to explore the company’s creative process through workshops and intensives.

Workshop: Creation and Integration of Movement and Text
For students ages 11-18, no prior dance experience required
Liss Fain Dance teaches workshops for middle school and high school students on the creation and integration of movement and text. These workshops demonstrate how personal movement can be combined with text to bring energy and depth to verbal descriptions and images. The students write a short piece–about a vivid memory, an unforgettable dream, or an unexpected turn of events–and then read it aloud. They create movement and gestures to accompany their writing, and they experiment with developing the movement by varying it, adding repetitions, changing their spatial orientation, or working with a partner. Liss Fain and the company dancers work with the students, either individually or in small groups. The students perform their movement as their stories are read and have the opportunity to discuss how seeing and creating movement influences their perception of and relationship to the text.

Workshop: Choreography Intensive
For pre-professional and professional dancers
These workshops give dancers the opportunity to experience the choreographic process that Liss Fain Dance uses to develop the company’s immersive performance installations. Attendees work with choreographer and artistic director, Liss Fain, as well as the company dancers to learn excerpts from the company’s current repertory. They explore how initial movement phrases, ideas, gestures, and text evolve into finished choreography. Under Liss Fain’s guidance, students experiment with seed movement, directives, and gestures to develop individual and personal material.

Artist's Calendar

Venue / Time
Your Story Was This
Main Reading Room, Mill Valley Public Library
Mill Valley, CA
Tacit Consent, an Immersive Performance Installation”
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
700 Howard Street

San Francisco, CA
5/5-5/7 @ 8pm, 5/8 @ 2pm
“Five Day Workshop 2016”
San Francisco Conservatory of Dance
San Francisco, CA


Founded in Boston in 1988, Liss Fain Dance has premiered more than 50 large-scale works by Ms. 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/lighting designers, composers, filmmakers, videographers and technologists. Since 2010, LFD has created immersive performance installations for non-proscenium venues, unusual architectural structures, public spaces and libraries. The performance installations integrate dance with spoken text and immersive set and sound environments. The audience, moving at will inside the performance space and the set, sees the work from multiple perspectives. This work has been sponsored by Amerika Haus at Beck & Eggeling Gallery, Dusseldorf; The Brower Center, Berkeley; Z Space; the Forum at YBCA; ODC Theater; Powerhouse Arena, Brooklyn NY; Mill Valley Library.

Liss Fain Dance has performed at and been presented by, among others: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Z Space, ODC Theater; Powerhouse Arena (Brooklyn), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 3 Legged Dog Art and Technology Center; David Brower Center; A.W.A.R.D. Show, Mill Valley Library, West Wave, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (CA); Internationale Tanzmesse NRW, Amerika Haus (Germany); Open Look Contemporary Dance Festival (Russia); Silesian Dance Festival, Zawirowania Festival, the US Embassy, Contemporary Dance Forum (Poland); Belaya Vezha International Theater Festival, Minsk Philharmonic Society and Grodno Drama Theater (Belarus), California State Summer School of the Arts, International Computer Music Conference, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown Dance Festival, NYC, Dance Umbrella Boston, Harvard University, University of Massachusetts, Colby College, Clark University, and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT.

Liss Fain Dance has received funding from Dance USA, USAI, Trust for Mutual Understanding, US Embassy in Poland, US Embassy in Belarus, Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Creative Capital Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, the NEA, Zellerbach Family Foundation, the Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund, Performing Arts Assistance Program, W & F Hewlett Foundation, Walter A. Gerbode Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, East Bay Community Foundation, Polish Cultural Institute in NY, C.A.S.H., Fort Mason Foundation, Marin Arts Council, Tides Foundation, Massachusetts Council on the Arts & Humanities.