Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

World Premiere of “In the Movement” September 1-11, 2022

Johnny Nguyễn by Robbie Sweeny

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lenora Lee

Phone: (415) 913-8725

Email: LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com

www.LenoraLeeDance.com

 

Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center and Lenora Lee Dance present 

 

World Premiere of In the Movement

by the award-winning company, Lenora Lee Dance

 

at ODC Theater

Thursday – Saturdays, 9/1, 9/2, 9/3, 9/8, 9/9, 9/10 at 7:30pm

And Sundays, 9/4, 9/11 at 2pm

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

 

“In the Movement” is a heartfelt and explosive dance piece focusing on separation of families and mass detention of immigrants as forms of incarceration. It serves as a meditation on reconciliation and restorative justice, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.

 

LOCATION

ODC Theater

3153 17th Street (between South Van Ness & Folsom) 

San Francisco, CA 94110

https://odc.dance/theaterseason 

Street parking or local garages are available. Please plan ahead regarding parking.

 

ADMISSION 

Link to ticket site

$25 – $50

For more info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com, https://odc.dance/theaterseason 

For questions or high resolution images, email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com, (415) 913-8725

 

LINK TO ARTIST PHOTOS

 

Audience Responses from LLD’s award-winning Within These Walls production:

“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, 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.”

 

Johnny Nguyễn by Robbie Sweeny

 

Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with the performers / dance collaborators

Performers / Dance Collaborators: Keanu Brady, Felicitas Fischer, YiTing (Gama) Hsu, Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, SanSan Kwan, Samuel Melecio-Zambrano, Danny Nguyen, Johnny Huy Nguyen

Music directed by Francis Wong & Tatsu Aoki

Media Design by Lenora Lee & Olivia Ting

Resource Partner: Asian Prisoner Support Committee

Interviewee: Borey Ai

 

 

LENORA LEE DANCE

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, incarceration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families. The company 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, at times crafted for the proscenium, or underwater, or in the air, and at times are site-responsive, immersive and interactive. For the last 14 years LLD 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. www.LenoraLeeDance.com

 

 

ODC THEATER

ODC Theater exists to empower and develop innovative artists. It participates in the creation of new works through commissioning, presenting, mentorship and space access; it develops informed, engaged and committed audiences; and advocates for the performing arts as an essential component to the economic and cultural development of our community. Since 1976, ODC Theater, founded by Brenda Way, has been the mobilizing force behind countless San Francisco artists and the foothold for national and international touring artists seeking debut in the Bay Area. ODC Theater is currently under the creative direction of Chloë L. Zimberg.

 

 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

 

Francis Wong (music) 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

 

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 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

 

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

 

Keanu Brady (dance) Artist since 2016, Keanu 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.

 

Felicitas Fischer (dance) 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.

 

YiTing (Gama) Hsu (dance) 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 has danced with Hsu Chen Wei Production, Les Petites Choses Production, David Harrera Performance Company Alyssandra Katherine Dance Project, Kinetech Arts and Epiphany Dance Theater. www.gamahsu.com 

 

Lynn Huang (dance)  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) was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. Through the sacrifices, courage, and resiliency of his parents’ refugee passage, Hien dedicates his artistic and living practices to share, move, and dance in honor of their story alongside the oceanic journeys of ancestors. His movement practices stem from the spirit of improvisation. He recognizes improvisation as an ancestral form of survival, navigation, clarity, and expression. As a performing artist, Hien was nominated and received an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Individual Performance (Within These Walls, Lenora Lee Dance 2019). He is a 2020 San Francisco Arts Commission IAC recipient and was awarded Ca$h Grant for 2017, 2018, & 2020. He is honored to have performed in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, Kim Epifano, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, Christy Funch & Nol Simonse, PUSH, DSDT, and punkkiCO. www.hien-huynh.com 

 

SanSan Kwan (dance) 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.

 

Samuel Melecio-Zambrano (dance) was first exposed to dance in the womb, as his mother and father salsa-ed their way about the living room. In 2018, he received a BFA in Dance from the University of South Florida (USF). He then moved to Melbourne, Australia to continue training, and following a fruitful stint as an avocado picker in Queensland, Australia, Samuel moved back to the United States. Now a certified Countertechnique teacher and freelance dancer in San Francisco, he has performed with FACT/SF, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, Kristin Damrow & Company, Garrett + Moulton Production, and Mark Foehringer Dance Projects among others. 

 

Danny Nguyen (dance) – became interested in movement while performing color guard in Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International. While studying at UC Berkeley, he refined his dance abilities studying under Bliss Kohlmyer, Kathleen Hermamestadorff, Katie Faulkner, and Joe Goode.  Shortly after graduating Danny toured with the Broadway musical Blast!, performing in the United States, South Korea, and Japan. He has been dancing professionally for over 10 years having performed with Joe Goode, Kim Epifano, Scott Wells, Katie Faulkner, and Bandaloop. Danny’s dancing career has led to a passion for helping others understand and navigate movement and the body; he is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

 

Johnny Huy Nguyen (dance) is a second generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary dance artist based in Yelamu (aka San Francisco). His practice is centered on the body, recognizing its power as a place of knowing, site of resistance, gateway to healing, and crucible of imagination. Drawing from fluency in multiple movement modalities rooted in a street dance foundation, he weaves together dance with text, ritual, performance art, and other mediums to navigate the intersections between the personal and the political. He has appeared in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, KULARTS, and Embodiment Project and has performed nationally in Oregon, Boston, and NYC. His work has been presented by APAture Festival, the United States of Asian America Festival, and SOMArts, and his most recent solo work, Minority Without A Model, premiered in 2021. www.johnnyhuynguyen.com IG: @johnny.huy.nguyen

In the Movement  is supported by Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, ODC Theater, Cal Humanities, California Arts Council, Fleishhacker Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Phyllis Wattis Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and by Generous Individuals. Special thanks to Asian Prisoner Support Committee.

Asian Improv aRts’ 35th Anniversary Celebration: Expansions // Horizons June 30th, 2022


   
     

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lenora Lee

Phone: (415) 913-8725

Email: Lenora@asianimprov.org 

https://www.asianimprov.org 

 

Asian Art Museum in collaboration with 

Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center & Lenora Lee Dance present 

 

Asian Improv aRts’ 35th Anniversary Celebration

 

Expansions // Horizons

 

For 35 years, Asian Improv aRts (AIR) has been at the forefront of the Asian and Asian American movement – advancing artists, activism, and culture on a national level. Come join us for two unique programs of music, dance, and film, bringing together multiple generations of AIR artists, as we celebrate this historic milestone and look forward to the future with radical imagination.

 

 

 

Featuring performances and work by:

 

  • Kioto Aoki (taiko / percussion), Chicago
  • Tatsu Aoki (taiko / shamisen), Chicago
  • Karl Evangelista (guitar), Bay Area 
  • Marina Fukushima (dance), Bay Area 
  • Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Bay Area 
  • YiTing (Gama) Hsu (dance), Taiwan / Bay Area 
  • Hien Huynh (dance), Bay Area
  • Christopher Lam (Vietnamese Monochord – Đàn Bầu), Bay Area 
  • Jacqueline Lam (Vietnamese zither – Đàn Tranh), Bay Area 
  • William Roper (tuba), Los Angeles 
  • Karen Stackpole (multiple percussion), Bay Area
  • Melody Takata (taiko), Bay Area  
  • Francis Wong (saxophone), Bay Area
  • And additional artists TBA

 

At Asian Art Museum

 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Program A: 6-7pm, and 

Program B: 7:30-8:30pm

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

 

LOCATION

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin Street (at McAllister St)

San Francisco, CA  94102

https://asianart.org or (415) 581-3500

Click here for parking & transportation

 

ADMISSION 

$10 plus museum admission

All attendees are required to wear masks following current CDC, city and state guidelines.

For more info: https://www.asianimprov.org, https://asianart.org  

For questions or high resolution images, email Lenora@asianimprov.org , (415) 913-8725

 

The Asian Art Museum strives to be welcoming and accessible to all. Please visit our Accessibility page to see a full list of accommodations, including complimentary assistive listening devices, ASL interpretation, and wheelchairs. Please note that for some accommodations, we require at least two weeks advance notice. 

 

 

Asian Improv aRts

 

Since 1987, Asian Improv aRts (AIR) has built a national cross-cultural, interdisciplinary community rooted in social justice and equity, advancing artists who create innovative works representing Asian and Asian American experiences. AIR’s impact has been far-reaching; building the strength, sustainability and national visibility of Asian American arts and culture, embedded in community-based work with an authentic Asian American voice and grounded in a social justice approach that has deep connections to BIPOC communities. Over its 35 years, AIR has produced more than 100 recordings of Asian American artists, chronicling a legacy of Asian artistic excellence in the U.S. and mentored many artists in their early stages, some of whom are now luminaries in their field, such as Vijay Iyer and Jen Shyu.

 

(Work in network, co-commission, fellow, record label)

 

__________________________________

 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

 

Kioto Aoki // 青木希音

 

Kioto Aoki is an artist, educator and musician who descends from the Toyoakimoto performing arts family in Tokyo with roots dating back to the Edo period. Studying under her Tokyo-born father, she carries on the artistic family lineage as a taiko artist in Chicago, also playing shamisen and tsuzumi. Musical projects include Yoko Ono’s SKYLANDING, Tatsu Aoki’s The MIYUMI Project, Experimental Sound Studio’s Sonic Pavilion Festival, and Soundtrack at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. https://kiotoaoki.com 

 

Tatsu Aoki 

 

Tatsu Aoki is a community advocate, filmmaker, educator, and prolific composer and performer of traditional and experimental music forms. As Executive Director of Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW), Aoki has initiated several programs to advance the understanding of traditional arts. He is also a founder of the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival. In 2019, he received the Community Service award from the Asian American Coalition of Chicago and was recently awarded the 2020 United States Artist Fellowship and Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for his work as a musician, composer, and educator. https://tatsuaoki.com 

 

Ben Goldberg

 

Clarinetist / composer Ben Goldberg grew up in Denver. He was a pupil of the eminent clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo and studied with Steve Lacy and Joe Lovano. Since 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music” (SF Chronicle), Ben has shaped a career through curiosity and experimentation. The New York Times says Ben’s music “conveys a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising, the constant usefulness of musicians intuitively coming together and pulling apart.” http://www.bengoldberg.net

 

Karl Evangelista

 

Filipino-American guitarist/composer Karl Evangelista (b.1986) ranks among a new wave of musicians pushing the traditions of jazz, experimentalism, and political music into the 21st century. Evangelista has performed with the likes of Andrew Cyrille, Fred Frith, Oliver Lake, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Bobby Bradford, Ben Goldberg, and Francis Wong. Signal to Noise magazine hails Evangelista as “one of the most original instrumentalists and composers of his generation,” and as the creative force behind boundary-breaking group Grex, Evangelista’s music has been called an “otherworldly experience” (Eugene Weekly). https://www.karlevangelista.com

 

Marina Fukushima

 

Marina Fukushima is a dancer and choreographer based in San Francisco. Born in Tokyo, Japan, she immigrated to the US in 1992. From a cross-cultural perspective, her creative focus is on the themes of silence, family, and intergenerational relationships. Amongst her projects, she created “Family Seasons” and “Zoom Dinner” in collaboration with her parents (both visual artists). Also, in collaboration with Isak Immanuel, a series of intergenerational dance works like “Festival of Shadows” was developed. Additionally, she has performed with numerous dance companies including KUNST-STOFF, ODC, Lenora Lee Dance, and Tableau Stations and toured across the US and internationally.  

 

YiTing (Gama) Hsu

 

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 has danced with Hsu Chen Wei Productions, Les Petites Choses Productions, David Herrera Performance Company, Alyssandra Katherine Dance Project, Kinetech Arts, and Epiphany Dance Theater. www.gamahsu.com 

 

Hien Huynh

 

Hien Huynh was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. Through the sacrifices, courage, and resiliency of his parents’ refugee passage, Hien dedicates his artistic and living practices to share, move, and dance in honor of their story alongside the oceanic journeys of ancestors. His movement practices stem from the spirit of improvisation. He recognizes improvisation as an ancestral form of survival, navigation, clarity, and expression. As a performing artist, Hien was nominated and received an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Individual Performance (Within These Walls, Lenora Lee Dance 2019). He is a 2020 San Francisco Arts Commission IAC recipient. He is honored to have performed in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, Kim Epifano, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, Christy Funch & Nol Simonse, PUSH, DSDT, and punkkiCO. www.hien-huynh.com 

 

Christopher Lam

 

Studying Vietnamese Monochord (Dan Bau) for over a decade under Emmy Award winning master Vanessa Van Anh Vo, he has performed with Asian Improv aRts, Lenora Lee Dance, and Jimi Nakagawa. at venues such as the Legion of Honors, Asian Art Museum, and Kennedy Center. He takes his influences from both traditional and contemporary Vietnamese music alongside improvisational methods. Within Au Co Center, he is a teacher apprentice for beginner students and stage logistics coordinator for performances within the Vietnamese community’s arts and culture. 

 

Jacqueline Lam

 

For over a decade, Jacqueline has learned and performed the Vietnamese zither (Dan Tranh) and has been trained by Emmy Award winner master artist, Vanessa Van Anh Vo. Over time, Jacqueline has developed her musical knowledge and skills, from traditional and contemporary Vietnamese music to improvisation. She has collaborated and performed with various ensembles/artists – Asian Improv aRts, Lenora Lee Dance – and has performed for various venues – Asian Art Museum, Legion of Honors, and the Kennedy Center. She is currently a teacher apprentice for beginner students and the Su Viet Ensemble coordinator at the Au Co Center. 

 

William Roper

 

William Roper is a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist concentrating his efforts in music composition/performance, painting, digital and video art. His primary instrument is the tuba. He also specializes in primitive and ethnic aerophones extemporaneous and spoken word performance. He has appeared as soloist and ensemble member in the Americas, Europe and Japan. His visual work has been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe. Roper heads the record label and arts organization Tomato Sage Consortium. Though he has lived in the same place for three decades, he is always looking for home. 

 

Karen Stackpole

 

Drummer/percussionist Karen Stackpole has a long-standing passion for gongs. In her exploration of metals, she has cultivated some distinctive techniques for drawing harmonics out of tam tams with various implements. She specializes in dynamic soundscapes and textures and has contributed gong sounds to more conventional musical genres as well as contributing source material for film soundtracks. In addition to solo work, she performs and records with various projects including Machine Shop: Live Amplified Gong Experience (a duo with electronics master, Drew Webster), Sabbaticus Rex, Ghost in the House, Vorticella, the Francis Wong Unit, and the rock band Steel Hotcakes. https://www.facebook.com/Machine-Shop-Live-Amplified-Gong-Experience-137078913044811 

 

Melody Takata

 

Founder and artistic director of GenRyu Arts, Melody Takata is a Japanese Diaspora artist. Takata is a taiko (Japanese drums) composer/arranger, and dancer/choreographer. Takata is trained in classical Japanese dance, and from the Kineya School of shamisen. In her 25+ year career she has engaged in creating new works in these traditions. She has been a recipient of Creative Work Fund, Alliance of California Traditional Arts: Living Culture, Master/Apprentice program, California Arts Council Local Impact, and National Endowment for the Arts to name a few. https://www.melodytakata.com 

 

Francis Wong

 

Francis Wong co-founded Asian Improv aRts with Jon Jang in 1987. Wong is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and community worker, with roots in the Asian American Consciousness Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. https://www.franciswong.net  

 

Supported in part by Asian Art Museum, Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Lenora Lee Dance, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and by Generous Individuals

 

       

 

World Premiere of “Convergent Waves: SF” Thursday, June 9, 2022

Lynn Huang & Johnny Nguyễn by Robbie Sweeny

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lenora Lee

Phone: (415) 913-8725

Email: LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com

www.LenoraLeeDance.com

Asian Art Museum in collaboration with 

Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, and Lenora Lee Dance present 

World Premiere of Convergent Waves: SF

site-responsive, multimedia dance performances by Lenora Lee Dance

From the award winning site-responsive, multimedia dance company Lenora Lee Dance, comes their newest performance piece Convergent Waves: SF, engaging viewers across the country in 2022 and 2023. Audiences are guided through a journey set in the Asian Art Museum to see unfolding stories of community agency, resilience, and transformation. Visitors experience a collective statement for the preservation of community, as neighborhoods across the country face cultural erosion, loss of businesses, and displacement through the pandemic and gentrification.

 

at Asian Art MuseumThursday, June 9, 2022

6:00 – 7:00pm, and 7:30 – 8:30pm

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

These performances are also part of Asian Improv aRts’ 35th Anniversary programming and Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s United States of Asian America Festival.

 

LOCATIONAsian Art Museum

200 Larkin Street (at McAllister St)

San Francisco, CA  94102

https://asianart.org or (415) 581-3500

Click here for parking & transportation

 
 

ADMISSION $10 plus museum admission

All attendees are required to wear masks following current CDC, city and state guidelines.

For more info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com, https://asianart.org  

For questions or high resolution images, email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com, (415) 913-8725

The Asian Art Museum strives to be welcoming and accessible to all. Please visit our Accessibility page to see a full list of accommodations, including complimentary assistive listening devices, ASL interpretation, and wheelchairs. Please note that for some accommodations, we require at least two weeks advance notice.

 
 
 
Johnny Nguyễn and Lynn Huang photo by Robbie Sweeny
 
 
 
 

LINK TO ARTIST PHOTOS

LENORA LEE DANCE

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, incarceration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families. The company 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, at times crafted for the proscenium, or underwater, or in the air, and at times are site-responsive, immersive and interactive. For the last 14 years LLD 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. www.LenoraLeeDance.com

Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with the performers 

Performers / Dance Collaborators: Naoko Brown, IJ Chan, Flora Hyoin Kim Han, Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, SanSan Kwan, Johnny Huy Nguyen

Media Design by Lenora Lee

 

Music

 

VIJAY IYER

“Ascent”, “Proximity”, “Prayer” composed and performed by Vijay Iyer

“Ghost Time” composed by Vijay Iyer, performed by Fieldwork

The following are used by arrangement with ECM Records: 

“Chorale” and “Geese” Composed by Vijay Iyer. Performed by the Vijay lyer Trio. 

“Passage” Composed by Vijay Iyer. Performed by Vijay lyer and Wadada Leo Smith. 

“Mutation X: Time” Composed by Vijay Iyer. Performed by Vijay Iyer, Miranda Cuckson, Michi Wianko, Kyle Armbrust, and Kivie Cahn-Lipman

“The Empty Mind Receives” Composed and performed by Vijay lyer and Wadada Leo Smith, published by Kobalt Music Publishing America Inc. and Kiom Music. (ASCAP). 

 

TATSU AOKI

“Let it not fall” composed and performed by Tatsu Aoki, with Kioto Aoki, Jamie Kempkers, Edward Wilkerson Jr. Courtesy of Asian Improv Records. 

 

FRANCIS WONG

“Revolutionary Process 1.0” (2013) BMI, from the “Trio SF” album (to be released in 2022). Composer and leader: Francis Wong. Performed by Francis Wong, Deszon X. Claiborne, Tatsu Aoki. Courtesy of Asian Improv Records. 

 

 

ASIAN ART MUSEUM Located in the heart of San Francisco, the museum is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Asian art, with more than 18,000 awe-inspiring artworks ranging from ancient jades and ceramics to contemporary video installations. Dynamic special exhibitions, cultural celebrations and public programs for all ages provide rich art experiences that unlock the past and spark questions about the future.

 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIESVijay 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.” https://vijay-iyer.com 

 
 
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 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
 
 
Francis Wong (music) 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
 
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. Petersburg, 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 The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Walnut Hill School for the Arts Community Dance Academy as well as Boston Ballet. 
 
I.J. Chan (陳加恩) (dance – Boston) 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. 
 
Flora Hyoin Kim Han (dance – Boston) is a Korean-American dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. Since earning her B.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014, she has worked with The Click, Prometheus Dance, Jenna Pollack, Lenora Lee Dance, beheard.world, Jennifer Lin, Deborah Abel Dance Company, Lorraine Chapman, and Urbanity Dance. Flora is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, a Lecturer of Dance at Brandeis University in Fall 2021, a senior faculty at Urbanity Dance and Coastline Ballet Center. Flora’s artistic vision is to bring inclusivity, empowerment, and joy to individuals and communities through the power of dance.
 
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 – San Francisco) was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. Through the sacrifices, courage, and resiliency of his parents’ refugee passage, Hien dedicates his artistic and living practices to share, move, and dance in honor of their story alongside the oceanic journeys of ancestors. His movement practices stem from the spirit of improvisation. He recognizes improvisation as an ancestral form of survival, navigation, clarity, and expression. As a performing artist, Hien was nominated and received an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Individual Performance (Within These Walls, Lenora Lee Dance 2019). He is a 2020 San Francisco Arts Commission IAC recipient and was awarded Ca$h Grant for 2017, 2018, & 2020. He is honored to have performed in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, Kim Epifano, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, Christy Funch & Nol Simonse, PUSH, DSDT, and punkkiCO. www.hien-huynh.com 
 
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.

 

Johnny Huy Nguyen (dance – San Francisco) is a second generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary dance artist based in Yelamu (aka San Francisco). His practice is centered on the body, recognizing its power as a place of knowing, site of resistance, gateway to healing, and crucible of imagination. Drawing from fluency in multiple movement modalities rooted in a street dance foundation, he weaves together dance with text, ritual, performance art, and other mediums to navigate the intersections between the personal and the political. He has appeared in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, KULARTS, and Embodiment Project and has performed nationally in Oregon, Boston, and NYC. His work has been presented by APAture Festival, the United States of Asian America Festival, and SOMArts, and his most recent solo work, Minority Without A Model, premiered in 2021. www.johnnyhuynguyen.com IG: @johnny.huy.nguyen

 
Convergent Waves  is supported by Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Asian Art Museum, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, ArtsEmerson, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project, Pao Arts Center, and by Generous Individuals

Lenora Lee Dance, Reflection & Gratitude

(Back Row) Wayne Tai Lee, Lynn Huang, Johnny Nguyen, Gama Hsu, Q. Quan, Lenora Lee,
(Front Row) Amber Julian, SanSan Kwan, Melissa Lewis, Jacinta Wu, Ethan, Elsie & Edward Kaikea Goo, Hien Huynh by Robbie Sweeny

 

 

Dear Community,

On behalf of Lenora Lee Dance, we graciously thank you for your continued support and stand alongside us. We wish you and your loved ones vitality and prosperity in 2022.
 
The pandemic has amplified vast inequity in underrepresented, low income, immigrant, refugee, and BIPOC communities, with surfaced suppression of individual and collective voices, as well as the proliferation of national anti-Asian discrimination and violence.
 
As restrictions lift and the possibilities to perform and connect as a community open, we are taking this moment to understand what it means to thoughtfully re-engage. We remain deeply committed to voicing the experiences of these communities through our work: engaging individuals in complex problem solving, community building, collaborative participation, and providing inspiration for future generations. We see the arts as a powerful vehicle for advancing compassion, justice, and transformation. 
 
Key highlights of 2021 with your support
  • LLD worked with Chinatown Community Development Center to perform excerpts and complete the filming of And the Community Will Rise, inspired by the fight for tenants’ rights by current and former residents of Ping Yuen housing complex. We shared in the “Peaceful Garden Summer Block Party”, promoting unity and solidarity within our communities, with an emphasis on our Black and Asian communities.
  • LLD traveled to Boston to create and screen the short film Meditations on the Power of Community illuminating stories of their Chinatown community alongside Shen Wei’s paintings.
  • Online presentations, convenings, podcasts, small performances, and articles rounded out our 2021. See www.LenoraLeeDance.com for film and video of these presentations.

Amber Julian & Lynn Huang by Robbie Sweeny
Going forward into our 14th Season

Moving into a full 2022, we seek opportunities to screen our film And the Community Will Rise, continue to work in Boston to premiere Convergent Waves: Boston at Pao Arts Center April 21-24, 2022, celebrating the contributions of activists and non-profit leaders in the fight for affordable housing, eliciting stories of community agency and resilience.

On June 9, 2022, LLD will premiere Convergent Waves: SF at the Asian Art Museum, featuring dancers from Boston & SF. We will finalize and screen our Within These Walls film by filmmaker Tatsu Aoki, inspired by those detained and interrogated at the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island.

In September 1st -11th, 2022, LLD will premiere In the Movement in SF, focusing on separation of families, deportation, and mass detention of immigrants as a form of incarceration.

 

 
Melissa Lewis, Clarrisa Dyas, SanSan Kwan, Megan Lowe, by Robbie Sweeny
Your support is critical during this time of recovery

Contemporary segregation exists along color, class, geographic, economic, and material lines. We need to clear the divide, the fear of indifference, and the resistance to change with risk-taking vulnerability. It is appreciation of diversity, and power in uplifting voices of collaboration into leadership roles that will bring facets of American society together, allow us to dissolve barriers of discrimination & control, and bear witness to our collective abilities to grow, unify, and transform. 

We deeply appreciate your generosity and invite you to make a contribution today! 

Your gift will directly support the above programs: performances, tours, film screenings, interviews and discussions. With the intensity of this year, and the myriad of adjustments we’ve all had to make in our lives, we are ever so grateful for your continued support. Wishing you grace and love,

Lenora Lee      Hien Huynh    Lucy Tafler

Artistic Director Marketing & Outreach Project Consultant

 

 

 

 

We are grateful for the support of ArtsEmerson, Asian Art Museum, Asian Improv aRts, Asian Improv aRts Midwest, API Cultural Center, Boston Asian American Film Festival, California Arts Council, Cal Humanities, Chinatown Community Development Center, Fleishhacker Foundation, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, Pao Arts Center, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, SF Arts Commission, SF Grants for the Arts, The Creative Work Fund a program of Walter and Elise Haas Fund also supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and you.

 

(Back Row) Wayne Tai Lee, Lynn Huang, Johnny Nguyen, Gama Hsu, Q. Quan, Lenora Lee,
(Front Row) Amber Julian, SanSan Kwan, Melissa Lewis, Jacinta Wu, Ethan, Elsie & Edward Kaikea Goo, Hien Huynh by Robbie Sweeny

Photo Credits: SanSan Kwan, Lynn Huang, Lenora Lee, Johnny Nguyen, Hien Huynh, Chloe Luo, Gama Hsu, Amber Julian, Megan Lowe, Clarissa Dyas, Melissa Lewis, Jacinta Wu, Edward Kaikea Goo, Wayne Tai Lee

Photos by Robbie Sweeny 

Upcoming Workshop & Show with Megan Lowe & Brenton Cheng!

 
Upcoming Workshop:
Tangram: Physical Puzzles
Riding the momentum of enthusiasm from folks who witnessed our performances of Finger Trap in 2019, Megan Lowe and Brenton Cheng are facilitating a supportive environment to share cultivated contact improvisation and partnering skills from our creative process for Tangram (premiering December 9th-12th) and are excited to dance with you! People of all experience levels are invited. We would like to especially encourage Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to join us, with discounted rates and two workshop scholarships available.
November 14th, 2021
at Finnish Hall, Berkeley, CA
 
Upcoming Show:
Tangram
A dynamic partnering duet between Megan Lowe and Brenton Cheng that challenges traditional ideas of male/female duets, and explores physical puzzles to deconstruct tropes often associated with Chinese heritage.
December 9th-12th, 2021
at Joe Goode Annex, San Francisco, CA
 
 
 
photo credit: Brenton Cheng & Megan Lowe by RJ Muna