Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Lenora Lee

Lenora Lee (artistic director) has been a dancer, choreographer, and artistic director in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, and a Visiting Scholar at New York University through the Asian/Pacific/American Institute, and an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater. She is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow and has been recently awarded a Creative Work Fund, a California Arts Council California Creative Communities grant, and a Kenneth Rainin Foundation Open Spaces grant with the Chinatown Community Development Center to collaborate on an immersive performance piece “And the Community Will Rise” in 2020.

The mission of Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) is to create and present large-scale multimedia performance works integrating dance, music, video projection, and text that connect various styles of movement and music to culture, history, and human rights issues. LLD is weaving together multiple artistic disciplines and socially conscious work, pushing the relevance of arts in various communities throughout the country.

“What struck me most about Fire of Freedom 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, 2015

“Lenora’s work takes on some challenging, relevant issues, in this case wartime trauma and violence. It shows how those traumatic and violent experiences manifest in the lives and bodies and psyches of not just soldiers, but civilians as well, and not just the victims, but the perpetrators.” – Raymond Fong, from War Dance: Lenora Lee’s Fire of Freedom, written by Emily Wilson, SF Weekly, 2015

Over the last 13 years, LLD’s work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation, and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement and educational programming. 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.

Photo by Hien Huynh