When the vibrant contemporary dance company, Liss Fain Dance presents THE FALSE AND TRUE ARE ONE from November 17 - 20 at the Forum at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), noted actress Nancy Shelby will take center stage reading the witty and unusual short stories of Lydia Davis while the dancers perform within an architecturally designed set of translucent screens.
For the premiere at Z Space last December, the narrative role was played by Word for Word Charter Member Jeri Lynn Cohen. "I am truly honored to follow Jeri Lynn in this collaboration with Liss Fain Dance," Shelby stated. "Word for Word has often used movement to illuminate an author's words onstage and as both a performer and director I have worked previously with choreographers such as Andrea Webber, Erika Chong Shuch and Deborah Slater."
Nancy Shelby is an actor, director, and founding member of San Francisco's acclaimed Word for Word Performing Arts Company, soon to celebrate twenty years of bringing short works of to life on stage. She has appeared in the award winning ensembles of Olive Kitteridge, Stories by Tobias Wolff, and Winesburg Ohio, as well as stories by Alice Munro, Richard Ford, John Sayles, Virginia Wolf, Barbara Kingsolver, and Andrew Sean Greer among others. Her most recent work outside the company was in Adam Bock's play The Shaker Chair, an Encore/Shotgun production.
For these performances of The False and True are One Liss Fain has added a new prologue entitled Art is Not in Some Far-Off Place. The performance installation takes place within Matthew Antaky's set of translucent screens, while an immersive sound environment created by Dan Wool surrounds the dancers, the actor and the audience. Solos, trios and duets often occur simultaneously. The audience moves freely between the four delineated areas of the set, and/or watches from the theater seats. Its presence in the set - walking, standing or shifting focus - adds the final layer of unpredictability and intimacy.
"The False and True Are One is about different perceptions of the same event -and the images triggered by this," stated choreographer Liss Fain. "I was drawn to Lydia Davis's stories of invisibility, and of seeing something from multiple angles, never quite knowing where the truth lies. In choreographing and structuring the piece, I worked with the rhythms, images and feeling of Lydia Davis's stories. The dance is composed of strong images linked to the text but not necessarily narrative; so the text, which is spoken intermittently, adds points of entry into the work for the audience."
Liss Fain Dance was one of four American companies invited to participate in the Internationale Tanzmesse last year in Germany. While there, the company was sponsored by Amerika Haus to perform at the prestigious Beck & Eggeling Gallery prior to the other events. The three rooms of the gallery were in three separate buildings; the audience moved at will between the galleries. With the cast of performers also shifting between galleries there were no repetitions in the choreography; each gallery contained a complete performance-whichever galleries visited by the audience, in whatever order, became the individualized performance. The structure of this event was the inspiration for The False and True are one which premiered at Z Space in December 2010, and was followed by a performance at the Mill Valley Public Library Centennial in February 2011.
The collaborators on The False and True Are One and Art is Not in some Far-Off Place are lighting and set designer Matthew Antaky, composer Dan Wool, costume designer Mary Domenico. The dancers participating in this program are Jennifer Beamer Fernandez, Jeremiah Crank, Katherine Hawthorne, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Alec Lytton and Carson Stein.
Liss Fain Dance presents collaborations, performance installations and pure dance pieces by Liss Fain and invited choreographers from around the world. Her work expresses the unpredictable course of events that comprise one's life and peoples' responses to unforeseen situations. "A choreographer who takes the chances...that matter" (Voice of Dance), Liss Fain's choreography fuses modern dance's forceful energy with the kinetic precision of ballet. Since founding her company in 1989, she has created more than 45 new works, and has collaborated with filmmakers, visual designers, musicians and technologists on projects that have toured both nationally and internationally.
Tickets ($12.50 - $25) for the performances in The Forum at YBCA may be purchased at 415/978-2787 (ARTS). For more information, visit www.lissfaindance.org.