Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Women’s History Month – Our Story is Our Strength – Artist Lenora Lee

 
 
 
 
 
Bunker Hill Community College presents Dance Artist Lenora Lee.
 
THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2022 AT 3 PM – 4 PM PDT
 
Director, choreographer Lenora Lee will share about her previous, as well as, current work “Convergent Waves: Boston” an immersive, multimedia dance project to be performed at PAO Arts Center in Boston April 21-23, 2022. The project celebrates the contributions of activists, residents, and non-profit leaders and reclaims space by eliciting stories of community agency, resilience, and transformation.
 
She will also interact with participants through “Connecting Within,” a series of writing and guided movement activities, accessing our experiences through language and the body as vehicles for communication, agency and activism.
 
Remarks by Cynthia Woo, Director, Pao Arts Center, Boston, Chinatown
Sponsored by Academic Support and College Pathway Programs and the Pao Arts Center, Boston, Chinatown
 
Learn more and join in via zoom: https://www.bhcc.edu/whm/

World Premiere of Convergent Waves: Boston / April 21 – 23, 2022

 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lenora Lee

Phone: (415) 913-8725

Email: LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com

www.LenoraLeeDance.com

Pao Arts Center and Lenora Lee Dance present

 

World Premiere of Convergent Waves: Boston

 

site-specific, multimedia, immersive dance performances by Lenora Lee Dance

At Pao Arts Center in celebration of its 5th Anniversary Season!

 

 

Dates and Times:
 
 
Thursday, April 21 | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday – Saturday April 23 | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm and 8:30 – 9:30 pm
 
Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.
 
Post-performance discussion after Saturday, April 23, 8:30 pm show
Run time 60 minutes with no intermission
 
Pricing: $20.00-$50.00 limit of 50 person each performance, please purchase your tickets early!
 
Language: English
 
Accessibility: This is a roaming performance with limited seating for those with access needs. Wheelchair accessible. Please contact arts@bcnc.net for access needs. 
 
COVID-19 Protocol:
As of March 15, 2022, Pao Arts Center is requiring all patrons to be masked. Protocols subject to change.
 
Filming:  During the performance you may be captured on film. By entering into this performance space, you consent to being filmed and to your likeness being used in any way. Upon registration you will receive a release form
 
Fee is non-refundable unless canceled by Pao Arts Center.

 

 

LOCATION

Pao Arts Center, 繁體字简化字

99 Albany Street

Boston, MA 02111

 

ADMISSION 

$20-50https://www.eventbrite.com/e/convergent-waves-boston-tickets-244507136427 

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

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

 

Convergent Waves: Boston is a new site-responsive, multimedia experience by Lenora Lee Dance celebrating the contributions of activists and non-profit leaders, reclaiming space by eliciting stories of community agency, resilience, and transformation. Inspired by rich narrative, this work represents a powerful call for community oriented development in the face of rapid change, making a collective statement for the preservation of community as neighborhoods across the country inhabited for generations face cultural erosion, loss of businesses, and displacement through gentrification. Convergent Waves: Boston highlights successes in preserving the cultural fabric and accomplishments of these communities.

 

Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with the performers 

Performers / Dance Collaborators: Naoko Brown, IJ Chan, Peter Cheng, Flora Hyoin Kim Han, Lynn Huang, Johnny Huy Nguyen

Media Design by Lenora Lee 

 

Music

  • Composed by Vijay Iyer, performed by Fieldwork, Vijay Iyer Trio, Miranda Cuckson, Michi Wianko, Kyle Arrmbust, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, and Wadada Leo Smith. Additional recordings composed and performed by Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith.
  • Composed and performed by Tatsu Aoki, with Kioto Aoki, Jamie Kempkers, Edward Wilkerson Jr.
  • Composed by Francis Wong. Performed by Francis Wong, Deszon X. Claiborne, Tatsu Aoki.

For more detailed information about the music, click here

Interviewee Voiceover by Susan Chinsen, Ken Eng, Paul Lee, Tunny Lee, Angie Liou, Lydia Lowe, Cynthia Woo, Yu-Wen Wu, Cynthia Yee

 

There will also be a virtual screening of Convergent Waves: Boston presented by ArtsEmerson in Fall 2022.

 

LINK TO ARTIST PHOTOS

 

Lynn Huang by Robbie Sweeny

 

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 is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 23 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, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater, a 2019 United States Artists Fellow.

 

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, 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, 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. www.LenoraLeeDance.com

 

PAO ARTS CENTER

Pao Arts Center was established in 2017 as a visionary program collaboration between Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) and Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC). Located at 99 Albany Street in downtown Boston, Pao Arts Center is Chinatown’s first arts and cultural center. Pao Arts Center represents the belief that investing in arts, culture, and creativity are vital to the health and well-being of individuals, families, and vibrant communities. Through its innovative approach, Pao Arts Center empowers creativity, connection, learning, and support. paoartscenter.org

 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

 

Vijay Iyer (music compositions, recordings) 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

 

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

 

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. 

 

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. 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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: Boston is supported by ArtsEmerson, Pao Arts Center, and by generous individuals. The creation, presentation of and production residency for Convergent Waves: Boston was also made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

 

Special Thanks to: Asian Community Development Corporation, Carmen Chan, Chinatown Community Land Trust, Chinese Historical Society of New England, Susan Chinsen, Ken Eng, Stephanie Fan, Amy Guen, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Harry Lee, Paul Lee, Tunney Lee, Angie Liou, Lydia Lowe, Cynthia Soo Hoo, Cynthia Woo, and Cynthia Yee.

Pao Arts Center is a program collaboration between Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and Bunker Hill Community College.

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

Johnny Huy Nguyễn by Robbie Sweeny

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

the World Premiere of In the Movement

by the award-winning company, Lenora Lee Dance

 

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

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

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early. Post performance discussions after both Sunday shows

 

“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.

CLICK HERE to view the video teaser https://vimeo.com/728134716

 

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

$20 – $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.”

 

Keanu Brady & Felicitas Fischer by Robbie Sweeny

 

Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

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

Performers / Dance Collaborators: Johnny Cox, Felicitas Fischer, Miguel Forbes, Lynn Huang, SanSan Kwan, Johnny Huy Nguyen, Sawako Ogo, Moyra Silva Rodriguez

Recorded music directed by Francis Wong & Tatsu Aoki

Vocals by Helen Palma

Media Design by Lenora Lee & Olivia Ting

Videography by Edward Kaikea Goo & Lenora Lee, filmed on Alcatraz Island

Light Design by Jack Beuttler

Interviewee Voiceover: Borey Ai, Ericson Amaya Bonilla, Enrique Cristobal Meneses, Guisela Ramos Guardado, Rhummanee Hang, Melanie Kim, Cindy Liou, Jessica S. Yamane, Anonymous

Resource Partners: Asian Prisoner Support Committee, 67 Sueños

Project Consultant: Lucy Tafler

Production Assistant: Edward Kaikea Goo

Photos by Robbie Sweeny

 

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.

 

ASIAN PRISONER SUPPORT COMMITTEE

Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC) provides direct support to Asian and Pacific Islander (API) prisoners and raises awareness about the growing number of APIs being imprisoned, detained, and deported. Since 2002, APSC has led programs in prisons, organized anti-deportation campaigns, provided resources to “lifers,” and developed culturally relevant reentry programs. APSC facilitates Ethnic Studies programs in prisons, provides community-based reentry services, and organizes deportation defense campaigns. https://www.asianprisonersupport.com 

 

67 SUEÑOS

67 Sueños is an Oakland-based youth organizing program with political education, artivism, and trauma-healing work at the center. It works primarily with Latinx undocumented youth and youth from mixed status families (ages 14-24) through a leadership development program that engages them in local campaigns fighting towards ending youth incarceration and militarized policing of BIPOC communities. 67 Sueños was born in 2011 out of the recognition that 67 percent of migrant youth would be excluded from the DREAM Act, a federal bill aimed at providing a path to citizenship for migrants who arrived in the U.S. at an early age.  http://67suenos.org

 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

 

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

 

Jack Beuttler (light design) is an Oakland based producer and designer. He’s the Director of Production for ODC and the Production Manager for the Sun Valley Music Festival in Idaho. He’s toured nationally and internationally with Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Van Anh Vo, and Flyaway Productions among many others, and is thrilled to have been a part of bringing The Forgotten Empress to Pakistan in 2017. Jack is honored to have received a 2019 Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design for Flyaway’s The Wait Room. Most recently Jack produced the critically acclaimed opera film Goodbye, Mr Chips. www.jackb.info

 

Johnny Cox (dance) is a gay, Guatemalan American performing artist who graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.F.A in Dance in 2019. After college, he ventured to Portland, Oregon where he was an apprentice with the LGBTQ+ affirming Shaun Keylock Company. He recently moved to the Bay Area where he has been working with Shawl Anderson Dance Center and the East Bay Tutu Schools as their only male ballet teacher. Johnny feels joyful to be launching his dance career as an apprentice with Nancy Karp and Dancers and with Lenora Lee Dance for In the Movement. Connect with Johnny on Instagram @johnnycdancing or at vimeo.com/jcdancing 

 

Felicitas Fischer (dance) is a contemporary dance artist whose practice and interest is rooted in exploring diverse movement forms  that reflect her own polyethnic-cultural background. A graduate of the University of San Francisco with a B.A in Performing Arts & Social Justice in Dance (2019), she has had the honor of working with Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations, Dazaun Soleyn, Megan Nicely, Nicole Klaymoon, Amber Julian, Eli Nelson, Amie Dowling, Jennifer Polyocan, Kinetech Arts, and Lenora Lee Dance. She works actively in the community on staff with Bridge Live Arts, contributes annually to the online dance journal Stance on Dance, and runs 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 selected for the Bay Area Shorts Film Festival and featured in USF’s Thacher Gallery Art Exhibition: All That You Touch.

 

Miguel F. Forbes (dance) discovered the passion for dance while attending high school. Began his formal training in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern Techniques at Anti – Gravity School of Dance in Roseville, California. Forbes then attended the Bachelor’s of Art Program in Dance at CSUS (Sac State) where he obtained knowledge in movement, history, philosophy, performance, and artist creation processes. A perpetual learner, Forbes is pursuing many educational and professional pursuits including graduate school to become a Doctor of Chiropractic, Certified Instructor of Katherine Dunham Technique, study in Butoh, Talawa, and Silvestre techniques.

 

Lynn Huang (dance)  Trained in modern dance, ballet, and Chinese dance, Lynn has performed with Lenora Lee, Cynthia Ling Lee, and Philein Wang, among others in San Francisco, and HT Chen and Dancers, Dance China NY and 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. She also teaches GYROTONIC​​® and GYROKINESIS®. IG: @lynnxspirals

 

SanSan Kwan (dance) is Professor and Chair in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, where she teaches  dance and dance studies..  She has performed with Jonathon Appels, Joanna Mendl Shaw, Chen and Dancers, Scott Rubin, and Maura Nguyen Donohue/In Mixed Company, among others.

 

Lenora Lee (artistic direction) The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 23 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, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater, a 2019 United States Artists Fellow, and is the recipient of a New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project grant award. Lenora is currently artist in residence at Pao Arts Center and ArtsEmerson.

 

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

 

Sawako Ogo (dance) is a freelance dancer based in the San Francisco Bay area, originally from Tokyo, Japan. Upon graduating from San Francisco State University with a BA in Dance, Sawako had the privilege to work with choreographers and directors, such as David Herrera, Natasha Adorlee, Erin Yen, Christian Burns, Joe Landini, Jennifer Gerry, Kristin Damrow, as well as numerous others. https://www.sawako.dance, IG @sawako_horsemackerel

 

Helen Palma (music) is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where she received her  Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music with an emphasis on Vocal and Jazz Studies. Her vocal styles range from Brazilian to Latin Jazz, Salsa, Swing, Blues, R&B and Pop. During Helen’s time at SF State, she studied with John Calloway in the Afro Cuban Ensemble and later performed professionally with his latin jazz septet at the Redwood City Salsa Festival in 2017 and 2019. She was also a part of the 2020 Hispanic Heritage Concert under Calloway’s direction. Helen’s own group, The Helen Palma Trio, performs in venues throughout the Bay Area with an emphasis on Latin and Brazilian jazz, R&B and pop. She is also pursuing a certificate in audio engineering and video editing. https://helenentertains.wordpress.com/, https://www.instagram.com/helen_palma_cantante/, linkedin.com/in/helen-palma

 

Moyra Silva Rodriguez (dance – Lima) is a Peruvian interdisciplinary and performing artist with a background in contemporary dance and theatre. Her artistic research explores the intersections between public space, dance community, hybrid identities and ancestry, through an interdisciplinary approach (film, dance, installation). Her academic study focussed on the overseas Chinese community in Europe and the Americas, as fourth generation Tusan (Chinese-Peruvian). Her work has been supported by the Instituto Cultural Peruano NorteAmericano (PE), El Centro Cultural de España (PE), Performing Arts Festival of Lima (PE), German Federal Foreign Office and Goethe Institut (DE), Trondheim Municipal Council (NO), and NOoSPHERE Arts (USA). www.moyrasilva.com, IG @moyra_silva

 

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

 

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

 

INTERVIEWEE BIOGRAPHIES

 

Borey “Peejay” Ai is the Community Advocate for Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC) and a former juvenile lifer. He was incarcerated at the age of fifteen and served 20 years in prison. After his parole, Peejay spent 18 months incarcerated in ICE jails, while fighting his deportation case. Peejay was released from ICE jail in May 2018 after a grassroots campaign, #BringPJHome. Peejay’s work includes serving as APSC organizational representative in meetings, coalition spaces, lobby visits, and events related to reentry, in-prison programs, and anti-deportation defenses. Peejay also conducts workshops around APSC programs and missions to youth, students, and community organizations.

 

Enrique Cristobal Meneses was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and lived in Los Angeles California since the age of 14. He is an advocate, artist, counselor and organizer. Enrique was detained at Golden State Annex (GSA) for 15 months as he fought his immigration case. After a long fight, and thanks to his resilience and community support, Enrique won his case in February 2022 and returned home after 18 years away. He got involved in the organizing and advocacy inside of GSA because of the injustices he saw happening inside. People were not being treated with humanity. Enrique is motivated, by his daughter and by his own journey through the criminal system, to keep on standing up to injustices and inequality. This is why he used his voice to stand up to the inhumane treatment inside of Golden State Annex. Enrique is currently working as a substance abuse counselor and is excited to continue to work alongside our communities to bring the change we need. 

 

Rhummanee Hang is a poet, dancer, and community organizer from Oakland. Rhummanee’s experience with racial equity work, culturally specific programming, youth leadership development, and community organizing has spanned two decades. Rhummanee is Co-Director of AYPAL, an API youth leadership development and movement-building organization based in Oakland Chinatown. She is also a consultant and facilitator with World Trust Educational Services. She earned a BA in Sociology at UC Davis and an MA in International & Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco. Rhummanee is an Aquarian dragon, earring maker and collector, and most importantly, Mommy to the amazing kid, Noreak!

 

Melanie Kim is the State Policy Director at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. Melanie is a leader in ICE out of California, the statewide coalition moving the VISION Act (AB 937) authored by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, which would stop all ICE transfers from local jails and state prisons. Before venturing into policy work, Melanie worked as an deportation defense attorney providing direct legal service in private practice and, most recently, at the Asian Law Caucus where she focused on representing individuals who faced deportation due to criminal convictions. At the Caucus, Melanie represented the first and second Cambodian refugees to ever return to the United States from deportation. 

 

Cindy Liou, the daughter of Chinese-Taiwanese immigrants, is currently the State and Local Policy Director at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), advocating for unaccompanied immigrant children. Previously, she was the Director of the Human Trafficking Project at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, where she practiced immigration, family, and victims’ rights law for survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, elder and child abuse. She is currently on the Advisory Board of Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare (TEACH) and the Steering Committee of the Freedom Network to Empower Trafficked and Enslaved Persons (USA).

 

Jessica S. Yamane is a co-director at Pangea Legal Services. At Pangea, Jessica’s goal is to support directly impacted community members who are developing alternatives to deportation and detention. As a person of both Chinese and Japanese ancestry, Jessica has been to enough memorials to recognize that the US immigration regime we live under has always been inherently racist. This country once recognized its errors in shuttering all concentration camps of Japanese Americans during WWII, and it can do so again. She firmly believes that we should be working towards that day when all immigration detention centers—today’s concentration camps—are permanently and forever closed.  

 

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 Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Asian Prisoner Support Committee, 67 Sueños, Golden Gate National Recreation Center.



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

 

Photos for EXPANSIONS // HORIZONS at Asian Art Museum – June 30, 2022
Ben Goldberg by John Rudoff, Francis Wong by Yumi Hatta, Tatsu Aoki by Ken Carl, William Roper by Joseph Mitchell, Karl Evangelista by Lenny Gonzalez, Melody Takata by Crystel Hadley, Marina Fukushima by Isak Immanuel, YiTing (Gama) Hsu & Hien Huynh by Hoa Huynh, Jacqueline & Christopher Lam by Au Co Productions, Karen Stackpole by Peter B Kaars, Kioto Aoki by Ken Carl.

       

 

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

Lynn Huang & Johnny Nguyễn by Robbie Sweeny

 

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

World Premiere of Convergent Waves: SF 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

Click here for Covid-19 protocol

 

ADMISSION $10 plus museum admission

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.

IJ Chan, Naoko Brown, Johnny Nguyễn, photo by LeeDaniel Tran

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, SanSan Kwan, Johnny Huy Nguyen

Media Design by Lenora Lee 

Interviewee Voiceover by Malak Alameri, Asala Alhanshali, Amalia Avendando, Martha Jaime, Junjie Lin 林俊杰, Aisha Majdoub, Frederick Martin, Abdoalehman Sade, Eduardo Sandoval, Emelita Torio, Anonymous 

Interview Translation by Sherman Ayala, Rachel Chen, Rosa Mariscal, Diana Pang, Jacinta Wu

Props & Sets: Sherman Ayala, Flora Hyoin Kim Han, Lenora Lee, Johnny Huy Nguyen

Audio / Visual Crew: John O’Shea, Timmy Leong, additional museum staff

Production Assistance: Edward Kaikea Goo, Q. Quan

Partner Organization: Chinatown Community Development Center

 

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. 

The following are translations of interviewee stories included in the performance.

Click here for information about the redistricting that was recently approved in San Francisco.

 

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 BIOGRAPHIES

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.” 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.
 
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). Centering his practice on the body as place of knowing, he weaves together dance, theatre, spoken word, ritual, installation, and performance art to navigate explorations of home, lineage, resistance, healing, and shared humanity. He has performed in the Bay Area, Oregon, Boston, and NYC. His work has been presented by APAture Festival and the United States of Asian America Festival and his most recent solo work, Minority Without A Model, premiered in 2021. www.johnnyhuynguyen.com IG: @johnny.huy.nguyen

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TRANSLATION OF SECTIONS OF INTERVIEWS IN SPANISH & CHINESE

My name is Amalia Avendando. And I’ve lived in the Tenderloin for 20 years. Yes I’ve been an instructor for Zumba for Ladies for many many years. 

Fui víctima de violencia doméstica y no me gustaría que ninguna mujer pasara eso. Es difícil para mí hablar de esto, pero estoy me entero cuando algunas de mis amigas me comentan lo que están viviendo en casa o cuando están siendo abusadas físicamente lo que sea. Yo les recomiendo La Casa de las Madres y les recomiendo alternativas. Para salir de este problema en el que ellas viven.  Que cuando alguien me comenta que busca vivienda, les recomendio que busquen en el edificio las habitaciones como no se, hay muchas cosas que  quisiera hacer por la gente y especialmente para las mujeres y los niños. Porque hay veces que cuando una madre sufre violencia, los niños también sufren violencia, y no son escuchados.

She is a victim of domestic violence and from experiencing this she knows that she wants no other woman to experience the same thing. And she tries to be really involved in this movement whenever someone shares to them that they stay at home or have been abused at home. She always tries to recommend them to an organization called casa de madres, and just other alternatives that are there for them. He has a huge focus of helping women and kids specifically, that a lot of times when a woman is suffering from domestic violence that the children are also suffering. And there’s a lot of times no way for the kids or the woman to be heard.

_____________________

Mi nombre es Martha Jaime.

She is a mother of four children. She has three boys and one girl. She’s been living in Tenderloin for 17 years now.

Yo camino a mi niño el más pequeño este a la escuela, nosotros veníamos caminando de aquí del Tenderloin hasta la Bryant entonces cuando vamos caminando por esta área del Tenderloin hay muchas personas indigentes que se están usando drogas están picando a veces están como muy agresivos Entonces este pues están peleando entre ellos y cuando lo va pasando pues a veces le toca a uno es que lo ofendan a uno también decirles cosas. 

Entonces  este mi hijo el más pequeño tiene mucho trauma de vivir acá en el Tenderloin porque le tiene mucho miedo a las personas que esté están en la calle Entonces es una es una preocupación para mí también porque este yo lo veo a él como que él les tiene bastante miedo cuando nosotros vamos caminando el tiempo me trata como de proteger y proteger sea a el mismo. Pues es muy preocupante. He tratado de buscar otra solución de otro lugar donde ir a vivir con mi familia pero la verdad la renta son bastante cara si es dinero que no podemos pagar y es la razón que seguimos viviendo en esta área.

She walks her youngest son to school and she walks from tenderloin, her building to Bryant they’ve witnessed people using drugs in the streets, whether it be injecting themselves in front of her and her child on their walks, or just being aggressive towards each other, seeing that escalation happen between themselves and the people in the streets. And she notices that her youngest has been affected a lot with his mental health and that he has trauma and he’s very much on alert when he’s on the streets. She notices that he makes an effort not only to protect himself, but also to protect her and being very concerned over her well being this is a really big worry for her to see his response to this. It’s been very difficult to find a solution to this other than to leave the space, but she hasn’t been able to find something that works for her. Because the rents are so expensive. So it’s just not something that they’re able to financially do for themselves.

_________________

Martha Spanish

Okay este pues yo mi niñez prácticamente toda la tuve en México en un lugar de donde esté como provincia puede decir como un pueblito pequeño y pues la verdad la vida de allá es mucho muy bonita Entonces este pues la verdad fui muy feliz todo el tiempo que estuve en México, después llegó el momento de que me casé y me esposo se vino para Estados Unidos, entonces yo salí embarazada de mi primer hijo y me esposo estuvo ese tiempo aquí, entonces cuando mi primer hijo nació me esposo regresó a México a conocerlo. El se tenia que regresar otra vez para Estados Unidos y me decía que me tenía que venir con él porque no quería dejarme sola México con mi bebé, verdad?eso me ponía nerviosa porque yo no me quería venir porque yo sentía que no iba a poder estar aquí porque aquí es muy diferente la vida,Verdad? Entonces siempre me animé Y me tuve que venir para acá y entonces cuando yo llegué aquí pues sentí un cambio muy diferente  mucho muy diferente que me empecé como a enfermar, me empezó a dar depresión y todas esas cosas verdad. Entonces es que yo tenía mucho miedo salir a la calle porque sentía como que estaba en una jaula y este y sí estuve bastante tiempo en tratamiento de depresión a causa de eso también y el encerramiento, porque yo era una persona muy libre. Entonces mi hermana me dijo que si quería ayudar a trabajar para que yo no estuviera pensando que estaba encerrada, entonces yo por las mañanas  trabajaba y cuando regresaba mi esposo se iba a trabajar y yo me quedaba con el niño Entonces ya mis amistades que yo tenía que ellos me empezaban a sacar a qué conociera un poco y con ayuda de la terapia y psicóloga y todo eso me fui como adaptado hasta que vinieron mis otros hijos y pues ya me convertí una persona bastante ocupada y pues he tratado de dejar todo eso atrás, la depresión y esas cosas, y mantener mi mente siempre ocupada y esa es una de las maneras que me ha mantenido estar un poco más adaptada aquí.

Martha English

She used to live in Mexico. And she explains her childhood as being something very beautiful, very open and freeing. She was very happy. And then came the time when she got married and had her family. She ended up coming out pregnant and her husband was already living in the US and working here. He didn’t want to leave them behind. He didn’t want to leave her or their son over there while he was in the US. So they ended up coming over as a family. And she explains that it was a very hard change for her. She was very reluctant to it at first, but she ended up deciding that she wanted to do this. She got her things and she came over. She ended up getting very sick. She got very depressed. She saw a lot of her health go down. And it was a very hard stage. She says she explained it as feeling caged, in that, she was living here and she wasn’t really going out. She was scared to be in the street to see the things that were going on outside and she explained it as feeling very enclosed and ended up getting treated for this depression and with help the psychologist and therapist and her sister, who also was noticing and helping her through this, she was able to kind of pull herself out of this dark phase. Her sister would insist for her to come and help her with her work just to bring her back out into the world. And she started going to work with her sister. What she has done best to keep her mental spirit up is staying busy. She’s a very busy woman now compared to her past where she could just just stay home that she finds herself keeping her mind busy always, busy always having something to do, busy working, cleaning houses not only physically busy but also mentally busy like keeping things in order. And her brain is always working.

_____________________

Mr. Jack (Junjie) Lin 林俊杰

你好,我叫林俊杰。我来自中国,广东新会。我目前是个全职学生。我来到美国没多久,大概九个月,就通过“经济适用房”(Affordable Housing)等候名单,被选中。我觉得非常幸运得到这个机会成为这里的租户。在这里认识了很多员工,其中是员工凯特罗宾逊。这里还有中文服务,所以我也得到了很多帮助。我当时在这里参加了社区义工活动,并且成为了这里的租户委员会成员,以及代表我们租户提出关于住社问题和建议。

我来到的时候,租户委员会和“食品储藏室”(Food Pantry)还没建立。后来,是由于凯特提出以及组织的。也在这个时候,我意识到了通过参与式投票。这个方式让每个租户者参与选出他们认为最合适代表他们的人,并且投票关于社会或其他的需求。比如为了租户的需求,“食品储藏室”(Food Pantry)也是这个时候开始举办的。每个星期由自愿者帮忙派发。最后 ,华协中心是我们大楼的业主,以及组织了租户领导力培训和交流。

So my name is Jack Lin, I was born in China. Guangdong Xinhui. And right now I am a full time student. I’ve moved into the tenderloin after nine months of immigrating to the United States. Tenderloin Family Housing we were selected through, you know, an affordable housing waiting list. And at that time, I also got to, you know, meet the staff. For example, Kate Robinson, this is also a time where the staff here would have Chinese speaking support too, that was one that I started volunteering with our community, and was even elected as a tenant council member to represent all the neighbors in our building to come forward with different issues around our property and neighborhood.

I’d like to share, for example, some projects staff, for example, Kate had organized us to create a tenant council. And I was familiar then with, you know how participatory voting worked, where neighbors would elect, nominate different neighbors and then you know, elect them for them to represent the needs of the community. Another thing was a food pantry, which is all volunteer run by the residents here, staffed every week by them. That wasn’t in existence. And, you know, that was created here for our building, Chinatown Community Development Center, which is the owner manager of our building, also organized tenant leadership trainings and exchanges.

Mr. Lin 林俊杰

另外一件事情得到了我们租户委员会会长Norma,以及三藩市市长的注意和参与。这件事关于到了一位学生上学的时候被(袭击)而导致了去医院。因为发生了这件事,我们在市政府进行了一个社区游行,并与市长和市参事开会。后来,三藩市举办了一个紧急计划,而这个计划让每一个Tenderloin街头有了几个工作人员来看管地区清洁和人们的安全。这对Tenderloin的环境和治安得到改善。

除了在租户委员会参与的这些事情,作为父母,我在这个疫情期间与其他家长,学校的孩子们,和监事会也做了很多组织工作。很多家长担心他们的孩子回学校上学的安全,我也不例外,毕竟我们还在疫情时期。我于其他家长都希望可以让孩子们继续远程学习。最初,孩子们要回去学校里上学,否则他们会失去在学校的名额。或者说他们可以继续远程学习,但学位也会被取消。通过我们的坚持,最终远程学习被保留了,以及学位也不会被取消。

Tenderloin区任然有社区安全和无家可归者的问题。在这个疫情期间,从二零二零年三月到现在我差点被突击了三次。第一次,是在学校附近。虽然现在街头有了些看管人,安全方面提供了,但还是小心为好。我们大楼也请了保安。以前我会带我的孩子们去Eddy街玩儿,但现在不去那边了,因为我确实还是担心他们的安全。对于社区安全,改进是有的,但还是存在了很多未解决的问题。

Another another piece that happened recently was that along with our president of the Tenant Council, Miss Norma, really tried to address the community safety piece at large and the impetus was because there was a young girl who was in a hijab and she was recently an immigrant from Yemen, who was attacked and assaulted to the point where she had to go to urgent care in the hospital while going to school. And so this was really a crystallizing point for many people. And so we had a community March at City Hall. That then led to some wins. We even met with the mayor and now there’s a Tenderloin Emergency Plan where she had shared that before she had publicly declared the plan. And we were as residents able to give our proposals and have her listen to our experiences. And even you know, those ambassadors called Urban alchemy practitioners on the street corners, was something that I think we had contributed to. Lastly, I want to also recognise, you know, I did a lot of organizing as a parent, with kids in the school district during COVID that had organized with other parents to, you know, demonstrate at this San Francisco Unified School District and also the board of supervisors on retaining distance learning classes. While schools were reopening, a lot of our parents were really concerned about the return to school, I wasn’t comfortable and many parents weren’t in doing so I wanted to retain distance learning as an option. And we were fearful that they would change the district policy where the original policy was you have to return to school or you’ll lose your spot if you want to do the web zoom version. When we eventually want to return you’ll lose your spot. So that was changed where you can still do online learning while keeping your spot for your school.

Mr  Lin  shared some examples of some of the issues around the Tenderloin that still need work. I think primarily around homelessness, and community safety, even anti-Asian hate. So he shared several examples, you know, right around COVID, he’s actually been assaulted physically or verbally assaulted three times since COVID. So I do think that community safety are really big issues that we do need to as a community continue to tackle and the progress is there. But it’s not an overnight solution. We did meet with the mayor, I can see some changes where there are more community ambassadors. So the progress is there. But again, I now no longer bring my kids over to the park that we got the free Wi Fi at, which is a couple of blocks away on Eddy Street, because I’m not confident that my children and I will be safe in our neighborhood.

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Amalia 

En los 20 años que yo había vivido en Turk street estaba lleno de homeless, afuera en la calle por el tema de la pandemia se limpio, el proyecto que organizaron para poner un parque afuera, por eso la calle se ha limpiado los nuevos edificios y no he tenido problemas. Para mi Tenderloin es muy bonito, a mucha gente no le gusta, pero a mi me encanta Tenderloin

More recently, they’ve started some projects where they’re cleaning up the space and creating a park space outside. That’s been positive. She thinks it’s beautiful. And she loves tenderloin.

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Martha

Estoy bien agradecida y muy contenta es que los últimos meses bueno el año pasado creo que comenzó he visto poco más de vigilancia en las calles del Tenderloin de cuando los niños salen de la escuela y la hora de las mañanas de los que los niños empiezan a ir a la escuela hay muchas personas que están cómo esté como no sé cómo decirlo pero están como protegiendo la salida de los niños a  la hora de la entrada y a la hora de la salida por todo ese barrio del Tenderloin. La verdad ver eso, me hace muy feliz y muy contenta. Y es una experiencia muy y la verdad es lo que necesitamos aquí y es lo que me hace sentir feliz porque al igual que yo, hay muchas mamás que están pasando lo mismo que yo.

It started happening last last year, that she noticed that there’s more care for the community that we have ambassadors and the walking school bus which comes out during school hours is sort of like an extra set of eyes that provides vigilance for the kids who are coming out of school. She’s seeing something positive coming out of the community, it makes her happier, because she knows that there’s other moms that have the same fears as her and it’s very relieving that herself and other moms are getting the service this help.

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The Convergent Waves performance pieces in Boston and San Francisco are supported by ArtsEmerson, Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Asian Art Museum, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center / Pao Arts Center, California Arts Council, Chinatown Community Development Center, Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and by Generous Individuals. The creation, presentation of and production residencies for Convergent Waves were made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Its creation is also supported in part by an award to Pao Arts Center from the National Endowment for the Arts, and artist residencies at ArtsEmerson and Pao Arts Center.