People

LISS FAIN, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Liss Fain’s work has been performed nationally and internationally in Germany, Russia, Poland, Belarus and Scotland. She integrates the work of installation designers, projection designers, composers, video artists, actors, and writers into her pieces. Her experiments with video/film artists at MIT, Apple Multimedia Lab, Rapt Productions, Kikim Media and (Colossal) Pictures were presented in large public spaces and proscenium venues. Since 2010, Ms. Fain has developed immersive performance installations that create a seamless integration of dance with literature, spoken by an actor, within an immersive set and sound environment. In her work, dance is the focal point in a hybrid performance event. The artistic partners in these pieces are actors, composers, and designers.

Ms. Fain teaches master classes and choreography workshops and has developed an outreach program for kids on the creation and integration of movement and writing. For pre-professional and professional dancers, she and the company teach intensive workshops on movement and text. Ms. Fain has been an artist-in-residence at California State Summer School of the Arts, Mobius Theater (Boston), and Rhode Island College.

Ms. Fain formed Liss Fain Dance in Boston, where her projects included collaborations with renowned photographer Karin Rosenthal, video artists at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and performances at Harvard University. Relocating to San Francisco, she established artistic partnerships with key artistic collaborators including visual designer Matthew Antaky, composer Dan Wool, projection designer Frederic Boulay, and costume designer Mary Domenico.


DANCERS


SONJA DALE

Sonja Dale was raised in Berkeley, California, where she began her training with Sally Streets at Berkeley Ballet Theater. Sonja has worked with companies on both sides of the US, including Lula Washington Dance Theater in Los Angeles, FACT/SF in San Francisco, and SYREN Modern Dance and KDNY Dance in New York City. She recently toured internationally doing aerial dance with Australia Strange Fruit. She is thrilled to now be back in the Bay Area, teaching dance, perfecting her baking skills, and dancing for some truly wonderful companies, including Sharp & Fine, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, and Liss Fain Dance. Sonja joined Liss Fain Dance in 2016.

KATHARINE HAWTHORNE

Katharine Hawthorne is a San Francisco based dancer and choreographer who likes to watch thinking bodies in motion. She received early training through the Royal Academy in Singapore and continued her studies at Ballet Arts Minnesota under Bonnie Mathis, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under Summer Lee Rhatigan, and with master Cunningham teacher Diane Frank. She joined Liss Fain Dance in 2011, and has also performed with Hope Mohr Dance, Sharp & Fine, Ledges and Bones, and James Sewell Ballet, among others. Katharine holds a B.S. in Physics and Dance, with honors, from Stanford University.  www.khawthorne.net

MEGAN KURASHIGE

Megan Kurashige studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan and the Academy of Ballet under the direction of Richard Gibson. She joined Liss Fain Dance in 2010 and has previously worked with Alex Ketley (The Foundry), Christian Burns (burnsWORK) and performed with Ballet Pacifica and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. She collaborates with her sister, Shannon Kurashige, on choreography under the name Sharp & Fine. She is also a writer with short fiction in various magazines and anthologies. www.sharpandfine.com

SHANNON KURASHIGE

Shannon Kurashige is from San Mateo, California. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied under Melissa Hayden, and graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance. She also received extensive training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the tutelage of Summer Lee Rhatigan. She joined Liss Fain Dance in 2010 and has previously performed with burnsWORK and The Foundry. She collaborates with her sister, Megan Kurashige, on choreography under the name Sharp & Fine. www.sharpandfine.com

SARAH DIONNE WOODS-LADUE

Sarah Dionne Woods-LaDue is from Los Angeles, California and started her dance training at LA County High School for the Arts. She moved to the Bay Area to continue her dance education at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan. She was a LEVYdance company artist from 2012 to 2014 and a frequent collaborator and dancer with The Foundry. Sarah has also had the pleasure of performing with Bay Area companies Kristin Damrow & Company and Sharp & Fine. Sarah joined Liss Fain Dance in 2015.


COLLABORATORS


MATTHEW ANTAKY, INSTALLATION & LIGHTING DESIGN

While pursuing a degree in the fine arts in Southern California Mr. Antaky turned his interests to the performing arts and in 1983 moved to San Francisco to study visual and theatrical design at San Francisco State University. For nearly 30 years Mr. Antaky has created and collaborated on installations, scenic and lighting designs for all of the performing arts including Dance, Opera, Theater, and Music. His work has been seen though out the United States and in many countries around the world.

His extensive designs in the world of dance include many years of collaborations with companies such as Liss Fain Dance, ODC Dance Company, Flyaway Productions, Robert Moses Kin, SJdanceCO, Smuin Ballet, IM’IJ-RE Dance, Li Chiao-ping, Oklahoma City Ballet, Lily Cai Dance Company, La Tania Flamenco and Mark Foehringer Dance Project/SF among many others. Mr. Antaky’s credits also include more then 50 productions in the world of opera and Music. He has created designs for Opera Parallel, Utah Opera, Opera Pacific, Festival Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco World music Festival, Opera San Jose, the Cabrillo Music Festival, The Oakland Symphony, Promusica and the St. Lukes Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He designs the annual award show for the Sundance Film Festival and is a founding member of Shadowlight Productions, a company pioneering new techniques and designs dedicated to the exploration and performance of shadows.Mr. Antaky is an Eight-time nominee (1999 –2013) and Four-time recipient of the Isadora Duncan award. Please visit matthewantakydesign.com for more information.

 

FRÉDÉRIC O. BOULAY, PROJECTION DESIGNER

Frédéric O. Boulay has worked with Liss Fain Dance since 2002, but this is his second collaboration as Projection Designer after The Water Is Clear And Still. His design work is at the intersection of art, technology, and innovation. Frédéric loves challenges and pushing the boundaries of what can be done on stage using new technology. He has worked with companies such as Opera Parallele, Rork Music, West Bay Opera, TEDx, and Youth America Grand Prix, to name a few; his designs have been seen throughout San Francisco, the Bay Area, and New York. Upcoming engagements as Projection Designer include the 15th anniversary remount of Dead Man Walking with Opera Parallele in February 2015.  Frédéric is a native of France; he is a member of United Scenic Artist Local 829 and holds both a Masters of Arts in Theatre Design & Production and an Executive MBA. Frédéric is the owner and founder of Oaktown Productions, which has provided design services and production management for performing arts organizations since 2005.

 

MARY DOMENICO, COSTUME DESIGNER

Mary Domenico applies her Apparel Design degree from The Rhode Island School of Design to various forms of art and theater. Her modern dance and ballet costume collaborations and credits include: Liss Fain, Margaret Jenkins, Robert Moses Kin, Diablo Ballet, ODC, the Oakland Raiderettes, Raw Dance, and Shared Space's Todd Eckert.  Mary’s theatrical and opera credits include: Rorke Music, Lamplighters Musical Theatre, The Western Stage, Pocket Opera, New Conservatory Theatre, California Conservatory Theatre, CTA Crossroads, and Porchlight Players. Her costumes have gone to Carnegie Hall, as well as toured the United States, Europe, and Israel.  Mary was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award in 2013.  Her designs were featured on the cover of The New York Times Business Day, as well as showcased throughout multiple San Francisco publications.  Her collaborations with photographer RJ Muna won 1st Place in the Fashion category of the 2010 APA National Photo Competition and have appeared in a Graphis publication "100 Best in Photography 2011."

photo: Frédéric Boulay

DAN WOOL, COMPOSER

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Dan is a San Francisco based composer who has worked in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Mexico City creating scores for more than 45 feature film and broadcast television projects, including seven films for celebrated cult filmmaker Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid & Nancy). He is perhaps best known as the principal composer in the soundtrack-group Pray for Rain. Dan has worked extensively in creating sound and music for international and domestic advertising and also as sound-designer for short films and documentaries, including several for the BBC and Channel 4 (UK). As a music producer and engineer, Dan has collaborated with international artists such as Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic), Philip Chevron and James Fearnley (The Pogues); Debra Harry (Blondie); and many Bay Area artists, including Essence, The Mermen, Indianna Hale and Kally Price. In the arts, Dan has been commissioned to create scores and sound-design compositions for The Architecture + Design Museum (LA), AXIS Dance Company, Liss Fain Dance, RAWdance and choreographer Sonsherée Giles. He has also worked as a sound engineer and/or sound- designer on dance-compositions with composer Beth Custer (Joe Goode, Jo Kreiter), composer Rob Reich (Circus Bella, Gaucho, Tin Hat). In 2013 Dan’s score for AXIS Dance Company's "Full of Words" was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award (Izzie Award) for Outstanding Achievement in Music & Sound. For the year of 2015 Dan been engaged by the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team for ongoing compositional and musical services. Please visit prayforrain.com for more information.


STAFF


Artistic Director: LISS FAIN
Executive Director: ED PAYNE
Projects Manager & Touring Coordinator: MEGAN KURASHIGE
Technical Director: MATTHEW ANTAKY
Production Manager: FRÉDÉRIC O. BOULAY
Graphic Design: HEATHER MCCALDEN
Administrative Assistant: VIRGINIA REINERT
Public Relations: JOHN HILL
Photography: RJ MUNABENJAMIN HERSH
Videography/Video Editing: RAPT PRODUCTIONS


BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Chair: ED PAYNE - President, Riskcasting, Inc.
Secretary: JULIE REINGANUM - President/CEO, Vistage International
Treasurer: ROB SEMPER - Executive Associate Director, Exploratorium
RUDI DUNDAS - Photographer
LISS FAIN - Artistic Director, Liss Fain Dance
LYNN RANKIN - Director, Institute for Inquiry, Exploratorium

Dancer photos: Benjamin Hersh
Photo of Dan Wool: Frederic O. Boulay