Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Re-Staging of Within These Walls & Premiere of sequel Dreams of Flight

WTW DOF 2019 2017 from Lenora Lee on Vimeo.

Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center & Chinese Historical Society of America present

The Re-Staging of the Critically Acclaimed Award Winning multimedia immersive dance experience

Within These Walls and the World Premiere of its sequel Dreams of Flight

by Lenora Lee Dance


At the Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay

Saturdays & Sundays, May 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th* & 19th*, 2019

11am-12:30pm & 1-2:30pm

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

Performances will commence rain or shine. Please plan to bring umbrellas and appropriate rain attire forecasted for closing weekend.

Note for closing weekend: These 5/18 & 5/19 performances are being recorded. While the recording is focused on the performance, your likeness may be filmed. By attending this performance you are granting Lenora Lee Dance permission to possibly film you.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS For questions, email, (415) 913-8725



“Within These Walls” and “Dreams of Flight” trailer

Within These Walls (WTW) received a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Production by the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee. Hien Huynh, one of the main cast members who played a character inspired by the life of Wong Gong Jue, received an Outstanding Achievement in Performance by an Individual for his incredibly moving performance in the piece.

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 12th Anniversary Season with the Re-Staging of the Award Winning Within These Walls (2017), and the World Premiere of its sequel Dreams of Flight, both site-responsive, immersive, multimedia dance works created for the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay, for three weekends 5/4 – 5/19/19. These works for 12 performers, integrating contemporary dance, video projection, recorded original music, and poetry, serve as a meditation on healing, resilience, and compassion.

Inspired by experiences of those detained and processed at the Station, Within These Walls & its sequel Dreams of Flight will transform and animate the historic Barracks and Hospital into sites for remembrance, as part of a community-wide celebrations for the grand re-opening of the Public Health Hospital as the Angel Island State Park Pacific Coast Immigration Center, which is being preserved and converted for reuse as an interpretive center, as well as in commemoration of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.

The pieces are dedicated to the 170,000 Chinese who were detained, interrogated and processed at the Station between 1910 – 1940 as a result of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which tore families apart and resulted in a mass incarceration experience that forever stamps the experience of Chinese in America.

Audiences will journey within a labyrinth of rooms throughout the historic two story building experiencing intimate interactive environments, a tapestry of movement, sound, poetry and film integrated on the surfaces inside and outside of the building, and within the walls.

Audience Feedback from WTW:

“I thought about ICE jails, people who fear deportation, and refugees overseas. It was heavy….and so beautiful.”

“It was a truly unique and powerful experience, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed it. It snuck into my dreams last night.”

“Moving and beautifully rendered, and of course, so timely given the global dialogue around immigration. I was there with my seven year old son, and the piece made a big impression on him.”

“I was deeply affected and moved by the performance. I left in tears, and literally cried every time I replayed the performance in my head for 4 days afterward.”

“It was brilliant and emotionally powerful.”


Immigrants Tormented as Angel Island Detainees Recreated in Dance
– By Beth Spotswood, SF Chronicle, 9/14/17

Angel Island a historical setting for Lenora Lee’s ‘Walls’
– By Leslie Katz, San Francisco Examiner, 9/7/17

Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with performers George Cheng, Derek Harris, Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, Carl Irons, SanSan Kwan, Wei-Shan Lai, Chloe Luo, Johnny Nguyen, Dalmacio Payomo, Shannon Preto, Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu, and contributions from some of the original 2017 cast: Yao Dang, Timothy Huey, Eric Koziol, Wayne Tai Lee, Kevin Lo, 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 and Wong Gung Jue

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


Join us for the excursion and adventure!


Then click on the orange “SELECT A DATE” button, then on the green “TICKETS” button to see PERFORMANCE ADMISSION + TRANSPORTATION DETAILS. Group rate available. Email to inquire.


SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTURES: Company: Blue and Gold Fleet


Outbound Angel Island Ferry Options

           *Departs Pier 41 at 9:45am, arrives on Angel Island at 10:10am

                    *Ride the 10:30am shuttle to the Station

                    *See either the 11am or 1pm performance

            *Departs Pier 41 at 11:25am, arrives on Angel Island at 11:50am

                     *No shuttle available. You must walk 25-30 minutes or bike to the Station

                     *See the 1pm performance after making your own way to the Station

Please check this website for updated ferry schedule


Return to Pier 41 Ferry Options

               *Departs Angel Island at 2:20pm, arrives at Pier 41 at 3:10pm

               *Departs Angel Island at 4:55pm, arrives at Pier 41 at 5:25pm

Please check this website for updated ferry schedule


TIBURON DEPARTURES: Company: Angel Island Tiburon Ferry

              *Departs Tiburon hourly from 10am until 5pm

              *Departs Angel Island hourly from 10:20am until 5:20pm

Those wanting to leave from Tiburon must purchase the GENERAL ADMISSION ONLY, ARTS PATRON ADMISSION ONLY, or STUDENT ADMISSION ONLY ticket options. Ferry tickets available for purchase at the facility as you board the ferry with cash or check ONLY. No advanced ferry ticket purchases. See those options and this link for more details.


ANGEL ISLAND SHUTTLE (can be purchased on this Eventbrite site, see TICKETS – LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

             *Departs promptly from the Angel Island Cafe at 10:30am

             *Departs Immigration Station 12:45pm and 3pm

Visit for more info.

If a shuttle is not available at your desired time, walking to and from the Immigration Station takes 25-30 minutes each way. Maps are available at the Angel Island dock.


PARKING OPTIONS at Pier 41, San Francisco

            *Academy of Art parking lot on Beach & Stockton Streets ($30 all day)

            *2210 Stockton St between Northpoint & Bay ($25 all day)

Taking public transportation, taxi or Lyft are good options as well.


PARKING OPTIONS by Tiburon dock

Tiburon Parking information can be found online here: Parking is between $5 and $15 for the day.

For more info:, email, or call (415) 913-8725


The performance admission + ferry ticket packages we offer only leave from Pier 41 in San Francisco on the Blue & Gold Fleet.

If you plan to take the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry, purchase the Admission Only tickets on our ticket site. Then purchase Tiburon ferry tickets on board the ferry with cash or check.

The last day to purchase the Admission + Roundtrip ferry package for the 5/4 & 5/5 performances on our ticket site is 4/29!

The last day to purchase the Admission + Roundtrip ferry package for the 5/11 & 5/12 performances on our ticket site is Tuesday, 5/6!

The last day to purchase the Admission + Roundtrip ferry package for the 5/18 & 5/19 performances on our ticket site is Tuesday, 5/13!

After that you must purchase Admission Only tickets on our ticket site and stand in line at the Pier 39 / 41 Blue & Gold Fleet Box Office, or board the Tiburon Ferry to purchase ferry tickets separately. You may be able to purchase Shuttle tickets from the Angel Island dock Group Leader if they are still available.

On the day of the performance, those who purchased online the Admission + Roundtrip ferry tickets or Shuttle tickets – arrive early to meet our Pier 41 Group Leader wearing the Fluorescent Yellow vest here by the topographical map between Pier 39 & 41 to pick up your tickets.

If you need to buy ferry tickets on the day of the performance, arrive early to stand in line at the Blue & Gold Fleet Ticket Booth between Pier 39 & 41.

Once you have your ferry tickets go to Gate 1 or 2 at the Pier 41 dock to board for Angel Island.

See above for information about the Tiburon Ferry.

If you purchased Admission Only tickets and Shuttle tickets, and ride the Tiburon ferry, you can pick up your Shuttle tickets from the Angel Island dock Group Leader in the Fluorescent Yellow vest once the ferry arrives on the Island.

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) 913-8725


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.


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. The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 21 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 and has been recently awarded a Creative Work Fund with the Chinatown Community Development Center to collaborate on an immersive performance piece in 2020.

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 12 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, 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

1) Kevin Lo, Johnny Nguyen, Hien Huynh, Wayne Tai Lee. 2) Chloe Luo & Johnny Nguyen. 3) Shannon Preto & Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu. 4) Chloe Luo. 5) Lynn Huang. 6) Hien Huynh, Wayne Tai Lee, Kevin Lo, Chloe Luo

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