Liss Fain Dance 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, literature, and 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 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 and lighting designers, composers, filmmakers, videographers and technologists. Since 2010, LFD has created immersive performance installations for theaters, non-proscenium venues, unusual architectural structures, public spaces, and libraries. These evening-length works bring together Liss Fain’s choreography with original scores, large-scale sets, video projection, and an exploration of text spoken live by an actor or integrated into the score. Fain has worked with text by Jane Hirshfield, Jamaica Kincaid, Lydia Davis, William Faulkner, and Virginia Woolf.

The creation of LFD’s installations work has been sponsored by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC Theater, and Z Space in San Francisco and Amerika Haus at Beck & Eggeling Gallery in Dusseldorf, Germany.

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.

Photo credits: RJ Muna (top), Frédéric O. Boulay