Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Artistic Collaborators

Photo by Robbie Sweeny
 
 


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. www.franciswong.net

 

 

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. www.olivetinge.com

 

Genny Lim (poetry) is a poet, performer, playwright, educator and cultural activist who strives to express the uniqueness and universality of her experience as the child of immigrant Chinese through her artistic vision. deeply engaged in the civil rights movement and the Asian American Rights movement, her work is informed by her commitment to social justice issues on many fronts.

(photo by Bob Hsiang)

 

Tatsu Aoki (film, 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 studied experimental filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently an adjunct Full Professor at the Film, Video and New Media Department, 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. www.tatsuaoki.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vijay Iyer (music) Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” composer-pianist VIJAY IYER is one of the leading music-makers of his generation. His honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, a Grammy nomination, and the Alpert Award in the Arts. His most recent album, a trio session with drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Linda May Han Oh titled Uneasy (ECM Records, 2021), was named Best New Music in Pitchfork and was hailed by the New Yorker as “a triumph of small-group interplay and fertile invention.”

 

 

 

 

Robbie Sweeny (photography)is an Irish born, internationally published photographer, curator and artist. My work has been exhibited globally, most notably in a group exhibition at Tate Britain in 2010 and The De Young Museum in 2013. I relocated to San Francisco in 2010 where I work closely within the performance art community. My work deals with issues such as queer futurity, identity and movement. My collaboration list includes but is not limited to: The De Young Museum, SFMOMA, Counter Pulse, YBCA, Joe Goode Annex, Dance Mission, Keith Hennessy, Jess Curtis, Sara Shelton Mann, Amara T. Smith and Lenora Lee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Performers

 

Naoko Brown (dance – Boston)is a native of Nagoya, Japan. At the age of six, she was introduced to the world of classical ballet by Michiko Matsumoto. She continued her training with Barbara Banaskowski Smith in Lansing, MI. While there, she performed with the students of the National Ballet School of Gdansk in Poland, as well as students from Vaganova Ballet School in St. Pertersburg, Russia.  Brown received her B.F.A. in Dance from The Boston Conservatory. While there, she performed works by Daniel Pelzig, Sean Curran, Lar Lubovitch and José Limón. She also attended the Boston Ballet School Summer Dance Program, Ballet Intensive from Moscow, and was a full scholarship recipient at Summer Stages Dance in 2012. She has performed with Michiko Matsumoto Ballet, Urban Nutcracker, Zoé Dance, Contrapose, Prometheus Dance and Jo-Mé Dance. She is currently a faculty member of Walnut Hill School for the Arts Community Dance Academy as well as Boston Ballet. 

 

 

 

 

I.J. Chan (dance – Boston) IJ Chan (陳加恩) is a dance artist and educator from Boston, MA. She has dedicated her life to training and performing intensively in multiple dance genres and under many choreographers. In her own choreographic work, IJ is interested in intersecting and exploring the Asian-American narrative. She is committed to bringing quality performing arts instruction to low-income and minority youth populations within Boston. She also works as a freelance graphic designer,  visual artist and seamstress.

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Cheng (dance – New York) is a Taiwanese-American dancer, choreographer, and art model based in New York City. Originally from San Francisco, CA, Cheng earned his BFA in Dance from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Upon graduation, Peter trained with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, ODC/Dance, SFCD, Post:Ballet, Sidra Bell Dance NY | MODULE, Visceral Dance Chicago, Springboard Danse Montréal, YYDC/Yin Yue, and NW Dance Project. He has performed works by Sharon Eyal, Caili Quan (BalletX), Flavien Esmieu (BalletBoyz), and konverjdans. His work has been presented at ODC Theater, Center Stage Theater, Broadway Performance Hall, CPRNY, 92nd St. Y, Judson Memorial Church, Dixon Place, the Mark O’Donnell Theater, and Arts On Site. Teaching credits include: LINES Ballet Dance Center, Brockus Project Studios, SALT Contemporary Dance, Barlow Arts Conservatory, UC Santa Barbara, Purdue Contemporary Dance Company, Arizona State University, and ODC/Dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keanu Brady – (Dance – San Francisco) artist since 2016. He hails from Salt Lake City, Utah, and enjoyed a nomadic upbringing with his mother and siblings. Finding dance at 15, he nurtured his own relationship to the art form through hip-hop and his improvisational body. He then received a BFA from the University of Utah, which in turn opened doors to dance in California, New York, Vermont, England, Paris, and hopefully more. Movement is his lens to negotiate his role in this world, find questions to answers, and answers to questions. He is currently a company member of FACT/SF and has had the honor of working closely with LEVYdance, Sara Shelton Mann, Kim Epiphano, AXIS Dance Company, and other bay area artists.

 

 

 

Gabriel Christian (they/them) (dance – San Francisco) is an American artist bred in New York City (Wappinger Lenape land) and baking in Oakland
(Chochenyo Ohlone land). For more than ten years, their work
has metabolized the vernaculars within BlaQ diaspora—futurity,
afrovivalism, faggotry—through high dramatics, structured
improvisation, poetics, and collaborative practices; moreover,
they feel the bio to be in the unfortunate lineage of value models
like chattel slavery.

 

 

 

Clarissa Dyas (dance – San Francisco) is a movement artist, creator, and performer with roots from Berkeley, CA. She centers her artistic practice around the intersection of identities including investigating black + asian lineage, queerness and the belief that movement is a spiritual practice to liberated justice. Clarissa graduated from San Francisco State University in 2017 with a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Health Education. She has been honored to be a company member of Robert Moses’ Kin and ka·nei·see | collective, a founding member of bananarama, and has performed in works by Talli Jackon, Raissa Simpson and many others. Clarissa is most recently in collaboration with Flyaway Productions, Zaccho Dance Theater, Raisa Punkki, and Rachael Cleveland + Armineh Astanboos.

 

 

 

 

Felicitas Fischer ( dance – San Francisco) is a contemporary dance artist and budding choreographer interested in diverse dance practices from around the world that reflect her own polyethnic-cultural background. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A in Performing Arts & Social Justice in Dance (2019), where she performed in choreographic works by Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations, Dazaun Soleyn, Megan Nicely, Nicole Klaymoon, Amber Julian, Eli Nelson, Amie Dowling, Jennifer Polyocan, and other local interdisciplinary artists. In addition to performing, Felicitas contributes annually to the online dance journal Stance on Dance, and is the founder of Artists for Justice, an artistic collective dedicated to supporting diverse emerging artists and local social-justice initiatives. Her latest choreographic work, Lungs of the Earth, was recently selected for the Bay Area Shorts Film Festival and featured in USF’s Thacher Gallery Art Exhibition: All That You Touch.

 

 

 

 

Anna Greenberg Gold (dance – San Francisco) moves in circles, thrives on stories, and believes in magic. She graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and has trained at The Ailey School, The Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and the SF Conservatory of Dance.  Ms. Greenberg received her B.A. in Dance and Children’s Book Illustration from Hampshire College. A dancer, storyteller, and chef, she has the joy of working with Kristin Damrow & Company, Risa Jaroslow & Dancers, Paufve Dance, Liss Fain Dance, and Deborah Slater Dance Theater.

 

 

 

 

 

Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu (dance – San Francisco) was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and has trained in contemporary, ballet, modern, Chinese martial art, Chinese folk dance, Tai-chi initiation, composition, choreography and improvisation. Yi-Ting is a graduate of Tsoying High School, and received her BFA from University of Taipei of the Arts. She moved to San Francisco in 2015 and has danced with Hsu Chen Wei Production, Les Petites Choses Production, David Harrera Performance Company, Lenora Lee Dance, Alyssandra Katherine Dance Project, Epiphany Dance Theater and Kinetech Arts. www.gamahsu.com

 

 

 

 

Lynn Huang (dance – San Francisco)Trained in modern dance, ballet, and Chinese dance, Lynn has performed with Lenora Lee, Erin Malley, & Philein Wang in San Francisco, and HT Dance Company, Dance China NY & Ella Ben-Aharon/Sahar Javedani in NYC. She studied at Minzu University Dance Conservatory in Beijing, China on a Fulbright fellowship and graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hien Huynh (dance/marketing & communications – San Francisco) 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. www.hien-huynh.com 

(photo by Olivia Ting)

 

 

 

 

 

Amber Julian (dance – San Francisco) is a professional dancer of 19 years whose style is often described as fierce, strong, and groovy. Her background and primary training is in Hip Hop and House, and she considers herself a freestyle dancer. She started dancing in Mixd Ingrdnts Dance Company in 2013, a fierce all-female collective group of artists who performed various styles including Waacking, Hip Hop, West African, House, Popping, and Contemporary. She believes that dance is all about exchanging deep rooted energy in order to make change and exude dynamic forms of visual expression.

(Photo by Goddess Gear)

 

 

 

 

Flora Hyoin Kim (dance – Boston) is a Korean-American choreographer, performer, and dance educator who earned her B.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. Flora is a found- ing member of GrinNare, a performing arts group of music and dance in Boston and premiered her 3 new solos at the Her Life as a ‘Comfort Woman’ Concert in January 2020 to support ‘com- fort women’ victims and human rights. As a choreographer Flora has presented her works at var- ious venues including Harvard Kennedy School, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Onstage Dance Company Choreographer Residency Showcase, First Church in Cambridge, Korean Church of Boston, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Lotte Cinema World Towel in Seoul, Korea. Flora has performed and presented works by prestigious companies and choreographers including Prometheus Dance, Deborah Abel Dance Company, Korhan Basaran, Riley Watts, Hol- lis Bartlett, Nattie Trogdon, Jennifer Lin, Lorraine Chapman The Company, and Urbanity Dance.

 

 

 

 

 

SanSan Kwan (dance – San Francisco) teaches dance and dance studies at UC Berkeley.  She has danced with Jonathon Appels, Joanna Mendl Shaw, Chen and Dancers, and Maura Nguyen Donohue/In Mixed Company, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa Lewis (dance – San Francisco) is a Chinese American artist working with mixed identities and mediums. She thinks often of decolonization, mother tongues, tube tops, Bruce Lee, drag and queerness. She comes from a background of traditional Chinese folk arts and Western modern dance, recently cross-training in martial arts. Melissa moved from east to west in 2010 to study at USF. She has been honored to collaborate on recent projects with Fog Beast, detour dance, Five Feet Dance, and James Graham Dance Theatre. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan Lowe (dance – San Francisco) is a dancer, choreographer, singer/songwriter, teacher, and administrator. She creates dances with an affinity for site-specificity and dynamic partnering. Megan Lowe Dances’ 2019 production of Action Potential was recently nominated for an Izzie Award (Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Ensemble), and Megan has been included in nominations for numerous Izzies over the years while working with esteemed SF Bay Area dance companies. She has performed with Flyaway Productions, Lenora Lee Dance, Dance Brigade, Scott Wells & Dancers, Lizz Roman & Dancers, Epiphany Productions, and more. meganlowedances.com

 

 

 

 

 

Ting Luo (Chloe) , (dance – San Francisco) originally from Taiwan, has trained in ballet, modern dance, and Beijing Opera martial art. She received her BFA from Chinese Culture University. Chloe attended the Taiwan National Creative Dance Competition in 2007 and participated in various dance performances of Hwa Kang Dance Company from 2007 to 2008. Relocating to San Francisco in 2010, she received her MFA in Fashion Merchandising in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnny Huy Nguyen (dance – San Francisco) 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 dance forms and contemporary dance. Johnny‘s vision is to use his craft to activate dialogue, healing, and action in ways that are raw, vulnerable, and honest. In addition to Lenora Lee Dance Company, he currently performs with Embodiment Project, Kularts, James Graham Dance Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zel Farrell-Alvarado is an interdisciplinary studio artist and stagehand-at-heart who works in stage management as a freelancer and in special events with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. She has a background in projection & A/V, film production, gallery install, and about a dozen other things that have caught her eye. Born and raised and based in San Francisco, she proudly works with local companies and arts presenters specializing in contemporary and traditional dance, preservation of culture and history, and public arts programs. She loves to show off her collection of show-black theater outfits. 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. Quan started working for Lenora Lee Dance in 2016 as a projection, lighting, and A/V tech. Since then, they have returned every year to embark on every single new adventure. When not making production magic for Lenora Lee Dance, they are a manager and visual maintenance tech for Palace Games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy Tafler trained in technical theatre at LAMDA in the UK before being distracted by Astrophysics and Cybersecurity.  The Arts lured  her back to performance when she moved to the Bay Area in 2013 and co-founded the San Francisco Neo-Futurists theatre company.  She has since worked with immersive theatre creators in San Francisco including The Speakeasy SF and This Is What I Want festival as well as touring the Neos and commissioning new independent works in Edinburgh, London, Australia, and New York.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Archive Collaborators

The Lenora Lee Dance Documentation Project documents the 2019 production process of Within These Walls and Dreams of Flight by Lenora Lee Dance. This digital archival project is currently hosted at the libraries at the University of California, Irvine. The materials were largely collected by Lenora Lee, Shannon Preto, Michael (Misha) Kennedy, and Qianru Li. These materials were donated by Lenora Lee, the artistic director of the Lenora Lee Dance company. Special features include videos and still images of rehearsals, video excerpts of the performances, programs, excerpts of oral history interviews, and ethnographic notes. Qianru Li and Michael (Misha) Kennedy have been working with Scott Stone, Madelynn Dickerson, and Thuy Vo Dang, research librarians at UCI, to arrange the collection. This collection will be available on ARTSTOR (https://www.artstor.org) in May, 2020.

 

Qianru Li is an archivist, artist, and scholar. they document stories of the marginalized. they write to challenge the status quo. in their spare time, they also study (very slowly) theatre and performance at the University of California, Irvine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael (Misha) Kennedy is a project manager and media designer for film, animation, and live performance. He received his MFA in Dramatic Media from the University of Georgia. Projects include Always (K)new, a transnational oral history performance project curating LGBQT stories from Columbia, Brazil, and the US and The Rosetta Project, an interactive art installation featuring live performers controlling game avatars through live motion capture technology.