The Imperfect is Our Paradise (2014)


Premiere: September 2014
ODC Theater, San Francisco

The Imperfect is Our Paradise integrates text from William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury into a commissioned score by Dan Wool. The work began with Liss Fain's interest in the way the trajectory of history shapes people’s lives: how they adapt to, push back against and get pulled into the personal, political and social forces that create their environment. The title—from a line in the Wallace Stevens poem “The Poems of Our Climate”—sums up, to me, the circumstances of our lives. The Imperfect is Our Paradise is structured around relationships. Unanticipated juxtapositions of duets, solos, and groups throughout the work establish the underlying questions and energy that infuse our lives with excitement, introspection, courage, sorrow and resolve. The installation is a jagged space, with alcoves that allow the audience to move between the dancers and be almost uncomfortably close. The projections on the set are images of Faulkner's south. Faulkner constructs sentences that rip open the emotional core--memory intrudes into the narrative unexpectedly, in mid-thought, and time exists on multiple levels simultaneously. There is seldom punctuation to the memories. The sentences and fragments have no real beginnings or endings. The reader feels exactly like they are in the character's mind, experiencing the rawness, relentlessness of his emotions. That rawness, introspection and fearlessness became the source of the structure and the movement of The Imperfect is Our Paradise.

video trailer


Choreography: Liss Fain
Music: Dan Wool
Text: William Faulkner
Installation, Lighting, & Projection Media Design: Matthew Antaky
Projection Design & Sound Installation: Frédéric O. Boulay
Costume Design: Mary Domenico

Original cast: 
Jeremiah Crank, Greg DeSantis, Aidan DeYoung, Katharine Hawthorne, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Carson Stein
Additional performances: 
3LD Art & Technology Center, New York (January 2017)

Photos: Dan Wool, Frédéric O. Boulay, Adam Kissick/APAP
Video: Rapt Productions