Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Within These Walls premieres 9/9 – 9/17/17 on Angel Island!


Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America, and
Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation present

The World Premiere of

Within These Walls
A new multimedia immersive dance experience by Lenora Lee Dance

At the Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay

Saturdays & Sundays, 9/9, 9/10, 9/16 & 9/17
11am-12pm & 12:30-1:30pm

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

Due to the nature of this performance with multiple dances and character narratives unfolding simultaneously throughout the Immigration Station, we recommend you see the performance more than once. It will never be the same experience twice! See ticket options for details on discounted tickets to see the performance twice in one day.

There will also be free screenings of LLD’s recent dance films in the Immigration Station Mess Hall held simultaneously at 11am and 12:30pm for ticket holders. These films were created in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Tatsu Aoki. Come early or stay after the performance to see the films!

Those attending one of the 9/16 or 9/17 performances may be captured on film and are asked to sign a Release Form, as we are building an experimental dance film of the Within These Walls performance piece. If you prefer to not be captured on film, please attend one of the 9/9 or 9/10 performances.

Click here for Tickets, Transportation & Details

For more info:

For questions or high resolution images, email, 415-816-9376

Please Note:
– Comfortable footwear is encouraged.
– Guests may encounter situations in close proximity with performers.
– We encourage guests with special needs to contact us prior to arrival at: or (415) 816-9376



Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 10th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Within These Walls, a new site-specific immersive multimedia dance experience premiering in a two-week run 9/9 – 9/17/17 on the Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay. This work for 14 performers, integrating contemporary dance, video projection, recorded original music, and poetry, will serve as a meditation on healing, resilience, and compassion. Inspired by experiences of those detained and processed on the Station, Within These Walls will transform and animate these historic spaces into sites for remembrance, as part of a community-wide commemoration of the 135th Anniversary of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.

Audiences will travel through a labyrinth of rooms throughout the historic two story building in an intimate interactive environment, a tapestry of movement, sound, poetry and film integrated throughout the inside and outside of the building, and within the walls.



Conceived, produced & directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with performers Yao Dang, Lynn Huang, Timothy Huey, Hien Huynh, Carl Irons, Eric Koziol, SanSan Kwan, Wayne Tai Lee, Kevin Lo, Chloe Luo, Johnny Nguyen, Shannon Preto, Yi-Ting Hsu, Stacey Yuen

Music score by Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki, with Kioto Aoki, JoVia Armstrong, Rami Atassi, Jonathan Chen,Suwan Choi, Deszon X. Claiborne,Coco Elysses, Jason Kao Hwang, Michael Jamanis, Jamie Kempkers, Chad Taylor, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Michael Zerang

Poetry & text by Genny Lim, Wong Gung Jue, and Immigration Station detainees

Voiceover by Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, Todd Nakagawa, Johnny Nguyen, Shannon Preto

Media Design by Olivia Ting

Videography directed by Lenora Lee
     filmed by Lenora Lee, Shannon Preto, Olivia Ting
     edited by Tatsu Aoki, Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting



LLD’s work integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families.

“We strive to generate artistic work that engages deeply the connections between individuals and their experiences, and community and collective memory, through creative processes, research, and public involvement.” – Lenora Lee

“What struck me most was how Lee managed to embed the narrative into the installation’s structure. So many different things were happening all at once and no one could predict what was going to occur, or when, or where… it shows how carefully Lee wove the narrative into everyone’s experience, including the viewer’s.” – Heather Desaulniers, Dance Commentary





From 1910 to 1940, Angel Island was the site of an Immigration Station that functioned as the West Coast equivalent of Ellis Island, although the Angel Island facility also enforced policies designed to exclude, rather than welcome, many Pacific Coast immigrants coming from eighty two countries. The processing time for most in the Station was two-three days, however for Chinese, the average was 3 weeks to 3 months of detention. One individual spent 22 months in the station.

In 1970, the site was slated for demolition because of its deteriorated condition; but the discovery of Chinese poetry that had been carved into the walls of the detention barracks saved it from destruction and led to renewed interest in the Angel Island Immigration Station. It increased awareness of the need to access the vivid lessons of sacrifice and triumph in the history of immigration. As a result of a broad advocacy campaign, funding was secured to preserve the site and to open the barracks to the public in 1983. Out of the community campaign the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) was founded to continue preservation and educational efforts for the site, and to increase awareness of the contributions Pacific Coast immigrants make.

The mission of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) is to promote a greater understanding of Pacific Coast immigration and its role in shaping America’s past, present and future. In partnership with the California State Parks, AIISF educates the public about the complex story and rich cultural heritage of Pacific Coast immigrants and their descendants.





The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 19 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, and was a Visiting Scholar at New York University 2012-2016. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater. LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and at the same time large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. For the last ten years, LLD has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history and human rights issues. Its work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement and educational programming.

Within These Walls is supported in part by California Arts Council,  San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation, Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, OCA San Mateo, Dance Mission Theater and to Generous Individuals. Special thanks to Casey Dexter-Lee & California State Parks, Grant Din and Penelope Wong.




photos by Robbie Sweeny featuring:

  1. Johnny Nguyen
  2. Johnny Nguyen & Eric Koziol
  3. Lynn Huang, Eric Koziol, Yi-Ting Hsu
  4. Yao Dang, Yi-Ting Hsu, Stacey Yuen, Chloe Luo
  5. Kevin Lo, Johnny Nguyen, Hien Huynh, Wayne Tai Lee
  6. Kevin Lo & Stacey Yuen
  7. Johnny Nguyen & Chloe Luo
  8. Yao Dang, Stacey Yuen, Chloe Luo, Yi-Ting Hsu
  9. Hien Huynh & Lynn Huang
  10. Hien Huynh


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