Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

UPNEXT! ‘On the Rise’ excerpts by Lenora Lee Dance

sections of an upcoming new dance work inspired by the lives and experiences of cancer survivors, a meditation on healing, compassion, forgiveness and the unknown.

“We feel the rivers flowing through the depths of her veins, through the question of tomorrow, through the broken visions of the future to the pale softness of her skin, holding the storm inside.” – Lenora Lee

– Saturday, 6/8/19, 1pm at the Chinese Historical Society, CHSA
featuring dancers: Hien Huynh & Lenora Lee
voiceover: Karina Lee Howe
music directed by Tatsu Aoki

– Sunday, 7/14/19, 1pm as part of Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest, SF,
featuring dancers: Hien Huynh, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai, Johnny Nguyen

-8/2 – 8/4/19 as part of the Asia Pacific Dance Festival, Honolulu Hawaii-Asia Pacific Dance
featuring dancers: Hien Huynh & Lenora Lee

dancers: Lenora Lee & Hien Huynh
photo by: Robbie Sweeny

Lenora Lee Dance’s Volutneer Call for May 2019 award winning performance

Lenora Lee Dance seeks volunteers for our next production, “Within These Walls / Dreams of Flight”. The show takes place at the US Immigration Station, Angel Island State Park, San Francisco Bay. We are looking for volunteers to help the production run smoothly. Following are the details, volunteer roles, and how you can sign up. In addition, tickets are on sale NOW. Invite your community to see this fantastic, award winning show.

“Within These Walls” and “Dreams of Flight” trailer

Tickets: eventbrite WTWDOF

Izzie Awards: SF Chronicle Izzies


We need 6 volunteers each day of the shows. There are various roles you can play. We ask that you commit for one day, Sat. (5/4, 5/11, 5/18) or Sun. (5/5, 5/12, 5/19). If you are available to help for more than one day, that would be very much appreciated! In gratitude for volunteering, you will receive 1 complimentary ticket for each show you volunteer. You will still need to purchase your own round trip ferry tickets to the island and shuttle tickets to the Station. You have the option to walk to and from the Station to the ferry dock.

Volunteer Roles:

a. 2 Pier 41 ferry dock ushers: For the volunteers that work the Pier 41 ferry docks, you need to be there from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. Duties include handing out pre-purchased tickets, guiding ticket holders to the ferry ramp, informing them of what to expect, and advertise the show to the public.

b. 2 Angel Island Dock ushers *: You will need to be there from 8:30am to 1:00pm. Duties include guiding ticket holders to the shuttle or to the hiking trail, answer questions, advertise the show.

c. 2 Angel Island Immigration station ushers *: You will need to be there from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Duties include processing performance admission tickets, handing out identifying badges for ticket holders and programs, guiding individuals to the restrooms, and managing the crowds as they walk around the station.

* These Angel Island Dock & Immigration Station ushers will need to ride the 8:30am staff boat from the Tiburon dock – 21 Main Street, Tiburon, and do not need to pay for the staff boat ride to Angel Island. $5 all day parking available in the Bank of America parking lot on Main & Beach Streets in Tiburon. These ushers would have to take the Tiburon ferry back to Tiburon.

RSVP via email to Shannon Preto with:

1. Which role or location you wish to volunteer

2. Which date you would like to volunteer

3. Which date you would like to see the show

4. Your cell phone number

We will try to assign you to the location of your choice, but cannot guarantee it. If you know of anyone else who may like to volunteer, please pass along this email.

For more information about the performances:

March 2019: with cinder, ash to ember

Coming this month, MARCH 2019

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

with cinder
ash to ember
new choreographic works by Jory Horn, Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu, and Hien Huynh

as part of the Museum’s Thursday Nights series
Thursday, March 28
6-7:15 pm and 8-9:1 5pm

Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Free with general admission

with cinder, ash to ember features new choreographic works by Jory Horn, Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu and Hien Huynh inspired by their mothers. The three pieces will focus, respectively, on reincarnation, rebirth and the transmigration of refugees; the bond between mother and child separated by distance; and the merging of embodied memories and imprinted experiences with unspoken and recovered history. Co-presented by Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center and Lenora Lee Dance.


When Smoke Escapes the Body
Choreography, text, and performance by Jory Horn

“It was as if I was reborn…” a phrase Jory’s mother, Sarou Mouy expressed when speaking of surviving the Khmer Genocide from 1975-1979 and coming to America in 1990. Including the elements of fire as an ignition to release a trapped soul and water as the metaphor for rebirth, this piece speaks of spirituality through the lens of Jory’s Cambodian Mother’s past traumas and the strength it has taken to build a new life and raise a family of 8 on foreign soil.
*This project was created through a research study in Cambodia January 15 through March 15, 2019. Supported in part by Dancers’ Group’s CA$H grant program.

by Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu
A collaboration performed by Chinchin Hsu, Yaoru Kong, Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu

As we unfold our own paths of memories, we start perceiving our traumas with love, support, and comprehension. To acknowledge them as we unfold and unfold into clarity with harmony as mother and daughters.

Soft Wounds
by Hien Huynh
Soft Wounds is a duet performance between Hien Huynh and his mother, Moui Lu.

A movement art and shared moment that unites mother and son on stage together for the first time. Through sharing and understanding his mother’s imprisonment in post-war Vietnam, physical injuries, and recollection, Hien and his mother engage in memories and experiences and charge the performance space with unspoken and recovered history.
*This piece is supported in part by Dancers’ Group’s CA$H grant program.

photo Jory Horn by Tony Nguyen
photo Hien Huynh by Hoa Huynh
photo Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu by Jason Lam


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

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

Hien Huynh was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. At 3 years old, he migrated with his family to Oakland, CA. Through embodied practices, Hien aspires to seek understanding and recognition of the vibrations of life, deepen awarenesses, and open heart for human compassion. He is honored to have performed in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, Kim Epifano, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, PUSH, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Christy Funsch & Nol Simonse, and punkkiCo.

Chinchin Hsu is a native of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, who loves to move, create, share, eat and listen to stories. She has trained in ballet, various modern techniques, Tai Chi, Chinese martial art and improvisation. Chinchin graduated cum laude and received her BFA from New World School of the Arts. In 2008, Chinchin moved to San Francisco and has worked with ODC, KUNST- STOFF, Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers, Tanya Bello, Kara Davis, Lenora Lee, LEVYdance, Katie Faulkner, Christy Funsch and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Outside of studio time, Chinchin is an artist mentor with Performing Arts Workshop serving various youth communities in the Bay Area. Thanks to her husband and family for their support through time.

Alan Yip has had an interest in the Classical Chinese arts since childhood. With teachers in the United States and China, he has been a disciple of the foremost masters of the guqin, erhu, and court-style painting. Alan teaches in the Bay Area and at the University of California, Davis. A long time lover of nature and plants, he holds degrees in horticulture and botany.

with cinder, ash to ember is supported in part by Zellerbach Family Foundation, Dancers’ Group’s CA$H grant program, San Francisco Grants for the Arts

Lenora Lee named 2019 United States Artists Fellow!

A major announcement and congratulatory shout out to director Lenora Lee being named a 2019 United States Artists Fellow!

“The Chicago-based nonprofit United States Artists has revealed its list of 2019 fellows, who will each receive an unrestricted $50,000 cash prize. The 45 fellows this year, who are all based in the U.S., were awarded in 10 categories: Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art, and Writing.” – Alex Greenberger Artnews

“Within These Walls” and “Dreams of Flight” trailer

Honored and grateful for the recognition, we continue to seek to share a sense of gratitude for life and our lived experiences. The power in sharing these truths is boundless and with emergence of a bountiful 2019, we will continue to bring the possibilities to life.

Re-Staging of Within These Walls & Premiere of sequel Dreams of Flight

Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center & Chinese Historical Society of America present

The Re-Staging of the Critically Acclaimed Award Winning multimedia immersive dance experience

Within These Walls and the World Premiere of its sequel Dreams of Flight

by Lenora Lee Dance


At the Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay

Saturdays & Sundays, May 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th* & 19th*, 2019

11am-12:30pm & 1-2:30pm

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

Performances will commence rain or shine. Please plan to bring umbrellas and appropriate rain attire forecasted for closing weekend.

Note for closing weekend: These 5/18 & 5/19 performances are being recorded. While the recording is focused on the performance, your likeness may be filmed. By attending this performance you are granting Lenora Lee Dance permission to possibly film you.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS For questions, email, (415) 913-8725



“Within These Walls” and “Dreams of Flight” trailer

Within These Walls (WTW) received a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Production by the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee. Hien Huynh, one of the main cast members who played a character inspired by the life of Wong Gong Jue, received an Outstanding Achievement in Performance by an Individual for his incredibly moving performance in the piece.

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 12th Anniversary Season with the Re-Staging of the Award Winning Within These Walls (2017), and the World Premiere of its sequel Dreams of Flight, both site-responsive, immersive, multimedia dance works created for the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay, for three weekends 5/4 – 5/19/19. These works for 12 performers, integrating contemporary dance, video projection, recorded original music, and poetry, serve as a meditation on healing, resilience, and compassion.

Inspired by experiences of those detained and processed at the Station, Within These Walls & its sequel Dreams of Flight will transform and animate the historic Barracks and Hospital into sites for remembrance, as part of a community-wide celebrations for the grand re-opening of the Public Health Hospital as the Angel Island State Park Pacific Coast Immigration Center, which is being preserved and converted for reuse as an interpretive center, as well as in commemoration of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.

The pieces are dedicated to the 170,000 Chinese who were detained, interrogated and processed at the Station between 1910 – 1940 as a result of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which tore families apart and resulted in a mass incarceration experience that forever stamps the experience of Chinese in America.

Audiences will journey within a labyrinth of rooms throughout the historic two story building experiencing intimate interactive environments, a tapestry of movement, sound, poetry and film integrated on the surfaces inside and outside of the building, and within the walls.

Audience Feedback from WTW:

“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, and of course, 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.”


Immigrants Tormented as Angel Island Detainees Recreated in Dance – By Beth Spotswood, SF Chronicle, 9/14/17

Angel Island a historical setting for Lenora Lee’s ‘Walls’ – By Leslie Katz, San Francisco Examiner, 9/7/17

Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with performers George Cheng, Derek Harris, Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, Carl Irons, SanSan Kwan, Wei-Shan Lai, Chloe Luo, Johnny Nguyen, Dalmacio Payomo, Shannon Preto, Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu, and contributions from some of the original 2017 cast: Yao Dang, Timothy Huey, Eric Koziol, Wayne Tai Lee, Kevin Lo, Stacey Yuen

Music Score by Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki, with Kioto Aoki, JoVia Armstrong, Rami Atassi, Jonathan Chen, Suwan Choi, Deszon X. Claiborne, Coco Elysses, Jason Kao Hwang, Michael Jamanis, Jamie Kempkers, Chad Taylor, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Michael Zerang

Poetry & Text by Genny Lim and Wong Gung Jue

Voiceover by Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, Todd Nakagawa, Johnny Nguyen, Shannon Preto

Media Design by Olivia Ting

Videography Directed by Lenora Lee

Filmed by Lenora Lee, Shannon Preto, Olivia Ting

Edited by Tatsu Aoki, Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting


Join us for the excursion and adventure!


Then click on the orange “SELECT A DATE” button, then on the green “TICKETS” button to see PERFORMANCE ADMISSION + TRANSPORTATION DETAILS. Group rate available. Email to inquire.


SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTURES: Company: Blue and Gold Fleet


Outbound Angel Island Ferry Options

           *Departs Pier 41 at 9:45am, arrives on Angel Island at 10:10am

                    *Ride the 10:30am shuttle to the Station

                    *See either the 11am or 1pm performance

            *Departs Pier 41 at 11:25am, arrives on Angel Island at 11:50am

                     *No shuttle available. You must walk 25-30 minutes or bike to the Station

                     *See the 1pm performance after making your own way to the Station

Please check this website for updated ferry schedule


Return to Pier 41 Ferry Options

               *Departs Angel Island at 2:20pm, arrives at Pier 41 at 3:10pm

               *Departs Angel Island at 4:55pm, arrives at Pier 41 at 5:25pm

Please check this website for updated ferry schedule


TIBURON DEPARTURES: Company: Angel Island Tiburon Ferry

              *Departs Tiburon hourly from 10am until 5pm

              *Departs Angel Island hourly from 10:20am until 5:20pm

Those wanting to leave from Tiburon must purchase the GENERAL ADMISSION ONLY, ARTS PATRON ADMISSION ONLY, or STUDENT ADMISSION ONLY ticket options. Ferry tickets available for purchase at the facility as you board the ferry with cash or check ONLY. No advanced ferry ticket purchases. See those options and this link for more details.


ANGEL ISLAND SHUTTLE (can be purchased on this Eventbrite site, see TICKETS – LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

             *Departs promptly from the Angel Island Cafe at 10:30am

             *Departs Immigration Station 12:45pm and 3pm

Visit for more info.

If a shuttle is not available at your desired time, walking to and from the Immigration Station takes 25-30 minutes each way. Maps are available at the Angel Island dock.


PARKING OPTIONS at Pier 41, San Francisco

            *Academy of Art parking lot on Beach & Stockton Streets ($30 all day)

            *2210 Stockton St between Northpoint & Bay ($25 all day)

Taking public transportation, taxi or Lyft are good options as well.


PARKING OPTIONS by Tiburon dock

Tiburon Parking information can be found online here: Parking is between $5 and $15 for the day.

For more info:, email, or call (415) 913-8725


The performance admission + ferry ticket packages we offer only leave from Pier 41 in San Francisco on the Blue & Gold Fleet.

If you plan to take the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry, purchase the Admission Only tickets on our ticket site. Then purchase Tiburon ferry tickets on board the ferry with cash or check.

The last day to purchase the Admission + Roundtrip ferry package for the 5/4 & 5/5 performances on our ticket site is 4/29!

The last day to purchase the Admission + Roundtrip ferry package for the 5/11 & 5/12 performances on our ticket site is Tuesday, 5/6!

The last day to purchase the Admission + Roundtrip ferry package for the 5/18 & 5/19 performances on our ticket site is Tuesday, 5/13!

After that you must purchase Admission Only tickets on our ticket site and stand in line at the Pier 39 / 41 Blue & Gold Fleet Box Office, or board the Tiburon Ferry to purchase ferry tickets separately. You may be able to purchase Shuttle tickets from the Angel Island dock Group Leader if they are still available.

On the day of the performance, those who purchased online the Admission + Roundtrip ferry tickets or Shuttle tickets – arrive early to meet our Pier 41 Group Leader wearing the Fluorescent Yellow vest here by the topographical map between Pier 39 & 41 to pick up your tickets.

If you need to buy ferry tickets on the day of the performance, arrive early to stand in line at the Blue & Gold Fleet Ticket Booth between Pier 39 & 41.

Once you have your ferry tickets go to Gate 1 or 2 at the Pier 41 dock to board for Angel Island.

See above for information about the Tiburon Ferry.

If you purchased Admission Only tickets and Shuttle tickets, and ride the Tiburon ferry, you can pick up your Shuttle tickets from the Angel Island dock Group Leader in the Fluorescent Yellow vest once the ferry arrives on the Island.

Please Note:

–           Comfortable footwear is encouraged.

–           Guests may encounter situations in close proximity with performers.

–           We encourage guests with special needs to contact us prior to arrival at:      or (415) 913-8725


From 1910 to 1940, Angel Island was the site of an Immigration Station that functioned as the West Coast equivalent of Ellis Island, although the Angel Island facility also enforced policies designed to exclude, rather than welcome, many Pacific Coast immigrants coming from eighty two countries. The processing time for most in the Station was two-three days, however for Chinese, the average was 3 weeks to 3 months of detention. One individual spent 22 months in the station.

In 1970, the site was slated for demolition because of its deteriorated condition; but the discovery of Chinese poetry that had been carved into the walls of the detention barracks saved it from destruction and led to renewed interest in the Angel Island Immigration Station. It increased awareness of the need to access the vivid lessons of sacrifice and triumph in the history of immigration. As a result of a broad advocacy campaign, funding was secured to preserve the site and to open the barracks to the public in 1983. Out of the community campaign the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) was founded to continue preservation and educational efforts for the site, and to increase awareness of the contributions Pacific Coast immigrants make.

The mission of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) is to promote a greater understanding of Pacific Coast immigration and its role in shaping America’s past, present and future. In partnership with the California State Parks, AIISF educates the public about the complex story and rich cultural heritage of Pacific Coast immigrants and their descendants.


LLD’s work integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families. The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 21 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, and was a Visiting Scholar at New York University 2012-2016. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater and has been recently awarded a Creative Work Fund with the Chinatown Community Development Center to collaborate on an immersive performance piece in 2020.

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. For the last 12 years, LLD has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia 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.

Within These Walls is supported in part by California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation, Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Dance Mission Theater and to Generous Individuals. Special thanks to Casey Dexter-Lee & California State Parks, Grant Din and Penelope Wong.

Photos by Robbie Sweeny

1) Kevin Lo, Johnny Nguyen, Hien Huynh, Wayne Tai Lee. 2) Chloe Luo & Johnny Nguyen. 3) Shannon Preto & Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu. 4) Chloe Luo. 5) Lynn Huang. 6) Hien Huynh, Wayne Tai Lee, Kevin Lo, Chloe Luo