Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

PRESS RELEASE: In the Skin of Her Hands

"In the Skin of Her Hands" (2019) show excerpts from Lenora Lee on Vimeo.



Lynn Huang photo by Robbie Sweeny



CONTACT: Lenora Lee
(415) 570-8615


Dance Mission Theater in association with Asian Improv aRts and API Cultural Center present
as part of Dance Mission’s WORD Series (Womxn Oracular Radical Dance) 
the World Premiere of a new multimedia dance experience 


In the Skin of Her Hands

by Lenora Lee Dance


At Dance Mission Theater
3316 24th Street San Francisco, CA 94110

Post-Performance Panelists
Friday, 11/1, 8pm show – Karina Lee Howe, Pamela Munster, Julie Wong
Saturday, 11/2, 8pm show – Raymond Fong, Valerie Soe, Marie Weber-Retherford
Sunday, 11/3, *5pm show – Karina Lee Howe, Cristina Prada, Akriti Sharma

*note daylight savings time


Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.
Post-performance discussions to follow each show
Theater is on second floor, there is no elevator access

Lenora Lee & Hien Huynh photo by Robbie Sweeny


General Admission – $35
Arts Patron – $60 (includes reserved seating & invitation to special rehearsals)
Student, Senior – $25

For more info:
For questions or high resolution images, email, (415) 570-8615.

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 12th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of our latest multimedia dance production, “In the Skin of Her Hands.” Inspired by the lives and experiences of those living with breast cancer, this piece is a journey through healing, compassion, and forgiveness in the face of the unknown. It will feature contemporary and aerial dance, multimedia film/video projection by Olivia Ting and Lenora Lee, original music by Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki, as well as voiceover interviews from those with cancer, their loved ones, and experts in the field.

“In the Skin of Her Hands” will share stories and perspectives of those living with breast cancer, their families and communities, gained from a community engagement project involving interviews and workshops. So many women have been affected by breast cancer, including Lenora’s sister and mother, creating an extremely urgent need for greater awareness, information, and connection in the face of this health crisis. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.

LLD will premiere “In the Skin of Her Hands” 11/1 – 11/3/19 at Dance Mission Theater as part of the theater’s WORD Series (Womxn Oracular Radical Dance). We will include a panel of those living with cancer and experts in the field as part of the post-performance programming.

Through this process, we embrace moments of sharing and honoring women’s stories and experiences, in order to reflect collectively, inspire resiliency, and acknowledge the communal bravery, compassion, and endearing support of loved ones.


Johnny Nguyen & Megan Lowe photo by Robbie Sweeny


Jory Horn photo by Robbie Sweeny


“The words that are spoken are both incredibly specific and indelibly universal – the location comes alive and is given voice through Within These Walls.”
– Brian Resler, No Proscenium

Audience responses to LLD’s “Within These Walls”

“Deeply touched, deep sorrow. I was so moved. As beyond moved right now, still trying to metabolize the complexity” – Amber Cady

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

“It was brilliant and emotionally powerful.”


Lynn Huang & Megan Lowe photo by Robbie Sweeny


Lenora Lee on Asian Pacific America with Robert HandaLenora Lee on Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa, NBC Bay Area, July 29, 2019

Audience responses to LLD’s “Within These Walls”

“Deeply touched, deep sorrow. I was so moved. As beyond moved right now, still trying to metabolize the complexity” – Amber Cady 

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

“It was brilliant and emotionally powerful.”


Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee
Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with performers Jory Horn,
Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, SanSan Kwan, Megan Lowe, Johnny Nguyen
Music Score directed by Tatsu Aoki and Francis Wong, with Kioto Aoki, Edward Wilkerson Jr.
Vocals by Edward Kaikea Goo, Megan Lowe, Jacinta Wu
Media Design & Editing by Olivia Ting & Lenora Lee
Videography by Edward Kaikea Goo, Hien Huynh, Lenora Lee, Joel Wanek
Calligraphy by Jacinta Wu
Voiceover by Raymond Fong, Erika Gee, Marina Goez, Karina Lee Howe, Winnie Lai, JoAnn Lee, Lenora Lee, Mixi Li, Nancy Lim-Yee, Megan Lowe, Ha Wa Lui, Javier Moreno, Sandra Moreno, Pamela Munster, Cristina Prada, Camilo Romero, Isabel Romero, Rose, Valerie Soe, Melody Takata, Olivia Ting, Marie Weber-Retherford, Julie Wong, Jacinta Wu


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) 570-8615

Dance Mission is located 3316 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110; across the street from the 24th St BART station. Street parking can be challenging, so we highly suggest you take public transit. There is a parking garage at Mission Bartlett Garage Google Maps. Follow link for rate information: lotsimpark

Volunteer Call
LLD is seeking volunteers for the weekend of shows. Join and work alongside the cast and crew to be apart of the production! For more information: click here or contact (415) 570-8615

Hien Huynh photo by Queenie Quan with Connection, 2019 bamboo installation by Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, taken at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco





Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) 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. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, a Visiting Scholar at New York University 2012-2016, and an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater. She is currently a 2019 United States Artists Fellow and has been recently awarded a Creative Work Fund and California Arts Council California Creative Communities grant with the Chinatown Community Development Center to collaborate on an immersive performance piece in 2020.

LLD’s recent work Within These Walls (WTW) received a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Production by the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee. Hien Huynh, a main character in the piece, won the nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Performance by an Individual for his incredibly moving performance in the piece. 

LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. For the last 12 years, the company has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia, and immersive 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.


Francis Wong (music direction, composition) was dubbed one of “the great saxophonists of his generation” by the late jazz critic Phil Elwood. Few musicians are as accomplished as Wong: for over two decades he has performed his innovative brand of jazz and creative music for audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe. A prolific recording artist, Wong is featured on more than forty titles.


Olivia Ting (media & graphic design) is interested in the role of digital technology in the fabric of contemporary lives and how our perception of recorded media (film, photography, audio) as “reality” has shifted as technology becomes more sophisticated. Olivia has done design work for Oakland Museum of California, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Jose Children’s Museum, and collaborated with various dance companies in the Bay Area. Her work shifts between video projection and altered 360 VR film experiences. She holds an MFA in Art Practice from U.C. Berkeley.


Tatsu Aoki (music) is a prolific composer, musician, filmmaker, and educator. Based in Chicago, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, ranging from traditional Japanese music, jazz, experimental and creative music. Aoki is currently an adjunct Full Professor at the Film, Video and New Media Department within the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching film production and history courses. To this date, Aoki has produced and appears in more than 90 recording projects and over 30 experimental films.


Jory Horn (dance) combines Cambodian culture and dance, as a means of advocacy to address challenges and celebrations of the Cambodian-American community. His guidance and mentorship of the Cambodian art form is a true testament of the strength and resilience of his people and survived through living dance masters Chayra Burt, Chey Chankethya, and Prumsodun Ok. Jory holds a BA in Dance and minor in Recreation Administration from CSU Sacramento.


Lynn Huang (dance) trained in modern dance, ballet, and Chinese dance. She has performed with Lenora Lee, Cynthia Ling Lee, HT Dance Company, and Ella Ben-Aharon/Sahar Javedani, among others. She studied ethnic minority dance at Minzu University in Beijing, China on a Fulbright fellowship and graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University with a BA in English.


Hien Huynh (dance) was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. Through embodied practice, Hien aspires to seek understanding, and honor the recognition of the vibrations of life, deepen awarenesses, and open heart for human compassion. He is honored to have performed in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, Kim Epifano, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, PUSH, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Christy Funsch & Nol Simonse, and punkkiCo. 


SanSan Kwan (dance) teaches dance and dance studies at UC Berkeley.  She has performed, in New York with Jonathon Appels, HT Chen, Maura Nguyen Donohue, and Joanna Mendl Shaw, among others.  In San Francisco, she has worked with Lenora, as well as composer Scott Rubin. This is her eighth year with Lenora Lee Dance.  


Megan Lowe (dance) is a dancer/choreographer/singer who creates her own works, and has performed with Flyaway Productions, Scott Wells & Dancers, Lizz Roman & Dancers, Epiphany Productions, Dance Brigade, and more. Megan teaches for Flyaway, Joe Goode Performance Group, Bandaloop, for contact improvisation gatherings, and for Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, where she currently works as the Office Manager.


Johnny Huy Nguyen (dance) is a second generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary, performing artist navigating the intersections between the personal and political. His practice is informed by fluency in street and contemporary dance forms to activate dialogue, healing, and actiont. In addition to Lenora Lee Dance Company, Johnny has also worked with Embodiment Project, Kularts, and James Graham Dance Theatre.


Dr. Raymond Fong worked as a counselor with City College of San Francisco’s (CCSF) Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) from 1990 to 2018, and as coordinator of the EOPS’ Second Chance program, a comprehensive academic support service program that was geared towards the needs of formerly incarcerated CCSF students. Ray holds a doctorate degree in International and Multicultural Education, a baccalaureate degree in Psychology, as well as masters degrees in MFT Counseling, and in Ethnic Studies. An accomplished bodybuilder, he is also a longtime martial artist who teaches karate at his San Mateo dojo. Ray’s mother battled with both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease prior to her passing earlier this year. He and his family were confronted with many challenges in caring for their mother, and struggled in finding ways to create and maintain meaningful connections with her.

Karina Lee Howe earned a BA in Pre-Physical Therapy and a Minor in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. She received a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Columbia University. It was in college that Karina met Perry and their lifelong collaboration began. The twenties were the milestones of marriage and career. The thirties were establishing the family unit, and having four children. The forties were about nurturing the family (developing the football players, artists, lacrosse players and tennis players) and growing the therapy practice. With the introduction of Metastatic Breast Cancer, the fifties have become the period of change. The refocusing of life back on oneself. Relinquishing control to the medical professionals. The acquisition of knowledge, everything about her type of breast cancer and how to survive it. And new goals: to be the best patient there is, to cherish every day, and to impart life lessons to her family as often as she can.

Pamela Munster, MD is a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, she is leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program, Director of Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit, and Co-Director of the UCSF Center for BRCA Research. In Dr. Munster’s lab, UCSF scientists are exploring new ways to detect, surveil, intercept, and cure BRCA-related cancers. In addition to her laboratory research, she develops novel strategies to treat patients with incurable cancers as an oncologist. Dr. Munster serves on multiple local, national and international committees focused on developing new treatments for cancer, has published over two hundred articles, authored textbooks and is a frequent lecturer. A native of Switzerland, she leads breast cancer awareness campaigns in the United States, United Arab Emirates, and India.

Dr. Munster was diagnosed with a BRCA2 mutation in 2012. There was not an easy place to coordinate her care, and so she set out to create the UCSF Center for BRCA Research in partnership with Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS. By transcending the doctor-patient perspective, Dr. Munster gives a framework for successful treatment – epitomizing the personal, patient centered care that is a hallmark of the UCSF medical center. Dr. Munster recently authored Twisting Fate, about her experience as an oncologist and a cancer patient.

Cristina Prada was born in Colombia in 1931. She grew up around a farm in La Calera, a small town outside of the capital, Bogotá. Her mother, Cristina, died while giving birth to a younger sibling. Her father, Lorenzo, raised her and her four siblings. Cristina worked several jobs from a young age, eventually becoming the manager of a pharmaceutical laboratory and giving birth to her daughter, Isabel Cristina. In 1973, she immigrated to the United States and settled in southern California. For over 20 years, Cristina worked two full-time jobs, at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach and at various hotels around Disneyland. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, which went away with treatment, but then metastasized and was diagnosed again in 2018. Cristina attributes the cancer to the chemicals used during her years of employment in the U.S. She is heartened in her struggle by her three great granddaughters, Emma, Penelope, and Olivia Cristina.

Since 1986 Valerie Soe has produced nearly two dozen short films and documentaries which have exhibited worldwide. Her essays and articles have been published in numerous books and journals and she is the author of the She is Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. Her latest film, Love Boat: Taiwan, premiered in 2019. She discovered her cancer through a routine mammogram and subsequently had chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.

Marie Weber-Retherford is a wife and mother of three children, who are all in their 20’s now. She has been a registered Nurse for 40 years, currently still working full time in pediatric Emergency Department. Marie is a 12-year survivor of both DCIS (ductal) and invasive breast cancer, which was discovered by her own manual exam.

Julie Wong is a physical therapist and a certified lymphedema therapist at Proactive Physical Therapy. As a breast cancer survivor, she discovered a vacuum of care and information for other patients. Her background as an orthopedic specialist combined with her osteopathic and lymphedema studies and applications allowed her to develop protocols never conceived or tried. In 2013 Julie was honored with the Komen San Francisco “Make a Difference Award” for helping patients regain function, comfort, and understanding.

Dr. Akriti Sharma, DPT is a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and is Owner of Proactive Physical Therapy where the focus is on treating breast cancer patients. She utilizes a unique physical therapy protocol that addresses total body systems to help patients before, during, and after breast cancer treatment: including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and various breast cancer related surgeries. Akriti & her team at Proactive Physical Therapy are also involved in and support various breast cancer organizations throughout San Francisco.



Dance Mission Theater’s WOMXN SPEAK: WORD series

Womxn’s Oracular Radical Dance. Dance Mission is proud to announce its presenting and program for 2018-2019, WORD, during which we are working closely with four groups of womxn identified artists. Don’t miss these exciting performances, conversations, and on-going investigations that dive into some of today’s most pressing topics. 


Asian Improv aRts

As a non-profit multidisciplinary arts presenter it has produced high quality arts and cultural events for 24 years in the San Francisco Bay Area in community based and major venues such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (with Dohee Lee’s FLUX), Great American Music Hall (with SFJazz), and Zellerbach Playhouse (Cal Performances) as well as various venues outside the Bay Area including the Museum of Contemporary Arts (Chicago), Flynn Center (Vermont), Library of Congress (Washington DC) and Banlieues Bleus Festival (Paris, France). AIR pursues a strategy of collaboration between artists, community resources and mainstream institutions to create cultural and educational programming that brings together diverse sectors across generational, cultural and social experiences. 



The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s (APICC) mission is to support and produce multidisciplinary art reflective of the unique experiences of Asian Pacific Islanders living in the United States. APICC was founded in 1996 by representatives of five nonprofit arts groups: Asian American Dance Performances, First Voice, Asian Improv aRts, the Asian American Theater Company, and Kearny Street Workshop. Since 1998, the center has promoted the artistic and organizational growth of San Francisco’s API arts community by organizing and presenting the annual United States of Asian America Festival as well as commissioning contemporary art for and by the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. 


“In the Skin of Her Hands” is supported in part by Dance Mission Theater, United States Artists, CA$H a grants program of Dancers’ Group, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and Generous Individuals. 

To contribute in the support of Karina, visit:


Lenora Lee, Hien Huynh, Megan Lowe, Jory Horn, Lynn Huang, Johnny Nguyen photo by Robbie Sweeny

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