Last interview of Daria Faïn by Marjana Krajac: It Is Necessary To Look At What Is Vital

On mayday heyday parfait  aka BROOKLYN REZOUND


A Dance that Moves to the Many Tongues of Brooklyn

Alexis Clements, 2016

There have been so many performances, exhibitions, and think pieces about gentrification and displacement over the past few years, as it continues to have a very real and lasting impact on people who are living or used to live in the borough. What’s particularly unique about this show, is the choice to examine the issue through language. Much of the conversation around gentrification can be totalizing, pitting people against each other based on things like race and class, and not always addressing the ways that government and capital markets are driving much of the shockingly rapid change we’re seeing at the moment. By focusing on language, BROOKLYN REZOUND complicates racial plot lines and demands far greater specificity in a city and country populated almost entirely by immigrants and displaced people — the vast majority of whom have relatives, or who themselves did not speak English when taking their first steps on this land, regardless of the color of their skin. (…)

Seeing the work as it comes together is a unique experience, because the process — the interplay of the multi-ethnic and multilingual cast —presents its own challenges. In order to make the show itself, artists had to find ways to build trust and ways of relating and communicating with one another. In a very fundamental way, the show is a microcosm. 

While the goals of BROOKLYN REZOUND could become quite lofty, Faïn was circumspect about them, describing her core desire as wanting to create “a space of contemplation” and a new angle on a problem for which many people are seeking solutions. Full article


Eva Yaa Asantewaa, 2017


For the first several minutes, the audience stands in the middle of the performance space with performers darting or weaving through them. Every sound has a clear launchpad within a moving body. You watch--and feel--it being produced. To experience this at maximum intensity, keep your eyes on Faïn's clenched movements. But every dancer contributes to a variable soundscape that pulls the standing, slightly shifting audience together into one organism--like a forest with sounds whistling through its canopy and rustling through its understory.

After a time, the watchers can take seats on the space's perimeter, and the story continues with words spoken by a man, a woman and a young girl. In his opening remarks, the man mentions Brooklyn--BRIC's home, of course, and a symbol of historic, if threatened, class and cultural diversity. I forget now what the woman said--and my scrawled notes are of minor help--but the youngster wrapped up by thrice intoning three words, like a mantra and admonition: Change what happens.

Those words combine a sense of inevitability (shit happens and will happen) with a directive: Do your magick. The ensuing performance continues the interdependency of physical movement and vocalization testifying for the body as a site of individuality, intelligence, will, communication and meaningful interaction. The vocalizing is varied. Dancer Saúl Ulerio, for instance, gradually rolls onto his side and front while quietly emitting a kind of musical moan--un-ing. At other moments, strings of words like "uninhabitable worst-case scenario invaluable" float by in an enigmatic stream.

The Architecture of E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E

Program context notes for the at New York Live Arts

Cassie Peterson, March 2013

… No longer legible, solely, through its sheer production potential and identity as an individual, Faïn and Kocik attempt to heal the fragmented infrastructure of self by unifying language, movement, and value of the “common” social body. They perform “the commons” as an antidote to rugged individualism and work to create a new human architecture that questions our current ways of being in the world. In this, the body is re-imagined as a kind of collective, contemplative, architecture -- a new architecture of the body politic and the body poetic. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E is a reparative gesture and an offering; a much needed social experiment and salve.


New York Times Dance Review

Claudia La Rocco, 2010

 … Ms. Faïn is a remarkable dancer, trained in Asian and American practices; her honed yet weighty movements bring to mind a warrior-monk who might at any time rocket into an attack or slip into meditative stillness. What a pleasure it was to observe her moment-by-moment negotiation of the thrumming Stockhausen score …



By Thom Donovan

Choir Praxis: On Daria Fain’s and Robert Kocik’s Phoneme Choir Movement Research Festival, Judson Memorial Church, May 4, 2009


(…) Faïn believes that the manifestation of language starts in the body, prior to any intention or differentiation into words. By focusing on the arising of language as it initiates intention, one can “re-pattern their reactions” (ibid). Her choreography generates its language by breaking down the relationship between intention, initiation and manifestation. In the case of the Phoneme Choir, she uses this choreographic language to create transformative relationships between the performers and for the group as a whole. How Faïn and Kocik allow their participants and, by extension, their audience to explore language in such a way is fairly simple, yet high impact. Full article


New York Times Dance Review

Speaking Through Bodies In a Sensory Environment

Gia Kourla, 2008

… Kenta Nagai, who helped build the sound system, creates a steady patter by tapping a suspended rope with a pair of sticks, and the dancers start to spread out, their jerky shapes evoking a feral kind of grace. Wearing a deconstructed black shirt and a pleated skirt (like a Scot) Benjamin Asriel lunges forward supporting himself on the ball of his foot as his other leg extends to the side. The others, including Charlotte Gibbons, Valerie Samulski and Peter Sciscioli, echo his distorted approach, and like the odd sounds that swirl around the space, it seems as if they're speaking -- or reacting -- to a language spoken through bodies, not words. …


Eva Yaa Asantewaa, 2013

(…) It is about us--the human race--and how we got to be as we are, where we might have taken a particular unfortunate turn and how, if we retraced our steps and looked at the origin of language, breaking it down into its component bits and sounds, we might want to start fresh, we might deconstruct and construct new structures, we might do things very differently. …Faïn and Kocik's imagination, particularly with words, charms the hell out of me. The work breathes like one organism formed of many individual ones that rise and fall in levels of intensity, organize themselves alone or in the company of others, remain stationary or move, perform clear, if enigmatic, seed sounds and simple gestures, sometimes orchestrated into seamless rhythmic sense and harmony.

(…)There's a whiff of this innocence in E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, and something of the (for worse or for better) foolhardiness of it. But to watch Faïn with Jacobs, just in those moments, is to let go and fall in love with her entire project. Full article


MIT PAJ Project Muse        

 OR ARE WE DANCER?              

Thom Donovan, 2009

By choosing to use polycarbonate in the ways they have, Faïn and Kocik present a plasticity of the body as it is comprised by both subtle and fleshy material—material that can neither be considered merely “body” or “soul,” but a chiasmus of the two in expression. So I take “extent” in a Scholastic sense of the term, as that which draws substance (the material of the soul, thought’s body) into existence. Full article