Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

PRESS RELEASE: In the Skin of Her Hands

Johnny Nguyen, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai photo by Robbie Sweeny

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lenora Lee
Email: LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com
www.LenoraLeeDance.com

 

Dance Mission Theater in association with Asian Improv aRts and API Cultural Center present
as part of Dance Mission’s WORD Series (Womxn Oracular Radical Dance) 
the World Premiere of a new multimedia dance experience 

 

In the Skin of Her Hands

by Lenora Lee Dance

 

At Dance Mission Theater
3316 24th Street San Francisco, CA 94110

Friday & Saturday, November 1st & 2nd, 8pm
Sunday, November 3rd, 5pm

 

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

 

Lynn Huang photo by Robbie Sweeny

 

“The words that are spoken are both incredibly specific and indelibly universal — the location comes alive and is given a voice through Within These Walls.” – Brian Resler, No Proscenium

 

ADMISSION: 
General Admission – $35
Arts Patron – $60 (includes reserved seating & invitation to special rehearsals)
Student, Senior – $25

Tickets: https://in-the-skin-of-her-hands.eventbrite.com 
For more info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com
For questions or high resolution images, email LenoraLeeDance2@gmail.com, (916) 690-9213

 

Jory Horn & Johnny Nguyen photo by Robbie Sweeny

 

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 12th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of our latest multimedia dance production, “In the Skin of Her Hands.” Inspired by the lives and experiences of breast cancer survivors, this piece is a journey through healing, compassion, and forgiveness in the face of the unknown. It will feature contemporary and aerial dance, multimedia film/video projection by Olivia Ting, original music by Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki, as well as voiceover interviews from survivors and experts in the field.

“In the Skin of Her Hands” will share stories and perspectives of breast cancer survivors, their families and communities, gained from a community engagement project involving interviews and workshops. So many women have been affected by breast cancer, including Lenora’s sister and mother, creating an extremely urgent need for greater awareness, information, and connection in the face of this health crisis. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.

LLD will premiere “In the Skin of Her Hands” 11/1 – 11/3/19 at Dance Mission Theater as part of the theater’s WORD Series (Womxn Oracular Radical Dance). We will include a panel of experts in the field as part of the post-performance programming and will look into ways to encourage early cancer screenings. 

Through this process, we embrace moments of sharing and honoring women’s stories and experiences, in order to reflect collectively, inspire resiliency, and acknowledge the communal bravery, compassion, and endearing support of loved ones. 

 

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

Lenora Lee Dance is looking for survivors and/or their loved ones who are open to sharing about experiences dealing with the disease, providing inspiration for the creation of the piece.

We invite your participation for a moment of sharing, honoring your stories and experiences, and reflecting collectively to inspire resiliency and acknowledge the gathered bravery, compassion, and endearing support of loved ones. Those interested please email Lenora at LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com or call 415-913-8725 by Sunday, 8/4/19.  For More Info Please Click: Here

 

Jory Horn & Wei-Shan Lai photo by Robbie Sweeny

 

Audience responses to LLD’s “Within These Walls”

“Deeply touched, deep sorrow. I was so moved. As beyond moved right now, still trying to metabolize the complexity” – Amber Cady 

“It was a truly unique and powerful experience, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed it. It snuck into my dreams last night.”

“It was brilliant and emotionally powerful.”

 

Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with performers Jory Horn, Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, SanSan Kwan, Megan Lowe, Johnny Nguyen

Music Score directed by Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki

Voiceover by Karina Lee Howe

Media Design by Olivia Ting & Lenora Lee

Videography by Edward Kaikea Goo, Lenora Lee

 

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: LenoraLeeDanceManager@gmail.com or (415) 913-8725

Lenora Lee & Hien Huynh photo by Robbie Sweeny

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

 

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, 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. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, a Visiting Scholar at New York University 2012-2016, and an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater. She is currently a 2019 United States Artists Fellow and has been recently awarded a Creative Work Fund and California Arts Council California Creative Communities grant with the Chinatown Community Development Center to collaborate on an immersive performance piece in 2020.

LLD’s recent work Within These Walls (WTW) received a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Production by the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee. Hien Huynh, a main character in the piece, won the nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Performance by an Individual for his incredibly moving performance in the piece. 

LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. For the last 12 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

 

Francis Wong (music direction, composition) was dubbed one of “the great saxophonists of his generation” by the late jazz critic Phil Elwood. Few musicians are as accomplished as Wong: for over two decades he has performed his innovative brand of jazz and creative music for audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe. A prolific recording artist, Wong is featured on more than forty titles. www.franciswong.net

 

Olivia Ting (media & graphic design) is interested in the role of digital technology in the fabric of contemporary lives and how our perception of recorded media (film, photography, audio) as “reality” has shifted as technology becomes more sophisticated. Olivia has done design work for Oakland Museum of California, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Jose Children’s Museum, and collaborated with various dance companies in the Bay Area. Her work shifts between video projection and altered 360 VR film experiences. She holds an MFA in Art Practice from U.C. Berkeley. www.olivetinge.com

 

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 is currently an adjunct Full Professor at the Film, Video and New Media Department within the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 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

 

Jory Horn (dance) 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.

 

Lynn Huang (dance) trained in modern dance, ballet, and Chinese dance. She has performed with Lenora Lee, Cynthia Ling Lee, HT Dance Company, and Ella Ben-Aharon/Sahar Javedani, among others. She studied ethnic minority dance at Minzu University in Beijing, China on a Fulbright fellowship and graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University with a BA in English.

 

Hien Huynh (dance) was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. Through embodied practice, Hien aspires to seek understanding, and honor the recognition of the vibrations of life, deepen awarenesses, and open heart for human compassion. He is honored to have performed in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, Kim Epifano, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, PUSH, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Christy Funsch & Nol Simonse, and punkkiCo. www.hien-huynh.com 

 

SanSan Kwan (dance) teaches dance and dance studies at UC Berkeley.  She has performed, in New York with Jonathon Appels, HT Chen, Maura Nguyen Donohue, and Joanna Mendl Shaw, among others.  In San Francisco, she has worked with Lenora, as well as composer Scott Rubin. This is her eighth year with Lenora Lee Dance.  

 

Megan Lowe (dance) is a dancer/choreographer/singer who creates her own works, and has performed with Flyaway Productions, Scott Wells & Dancers, Lizz Roman & Dancers, Epiphany Productions, Dance Brigade, and more. Megan teaches for Flyaway, Joe Goode Performance Group, Bandaloop, for contact improvisation gatherings, and for Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, where she currently works as the Office Manager. mlowedances.wixsite.com/meganlowe

 

Johnny Huy Nguyen (dance) is a second generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary, performing artist navigating the intersections between the personal and political. His practice is informed by fluency in street and contemporary dance forms to activate dialogue, healing, and actiont. In addition to Lenora Lee Dance Company, Johnny has also worked with Embodiment Project, Kularts, and James Graham Dance Theatre.

 

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

Dance Mission Theater’s WOMXN SPEAK: WORD series

Womxn’s Oracular Radical Dance. Dance Mission is proud to announce its presenting and program for 2018-2019, WORD, during which we are working closely with four groups of womxn identified artists. Don’t miss these exciting performances, conversations, and on-going investigations that dive into some of today’s most pressing topics. https://dancemissiontheater.org/womxn-speak/ 

 

Asian Improv aRts

As a non-profit multidisciplinary arts presenter it has produced high quality arts and cultural events for 24 years in the San Francisco Bay Area in community based and major venues such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (with Dohee Lee’s FLUX), Great American Music Hall (with SFJazz), and Zellerbach Playhouse (Cal Performances) as well as various venues outside the Bay Area including the Museum of Contemporary Arts (Chicago), Flynn Center (Vermont), Library of Congress (Washington DC) and Banlieues Bleus Festival (Paris, France). AIR pursues a strategy of collaboration between artists, community resources and mainstream institutions to create cultural and educational programming that brings together diverse sectors across generational, cultural and social experiences. http://www.asianimprov.org 

 

APICC

The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s (APICC) mission is to support and produce multidisciplinary art reflective of the unique experiences of Asian Pacific Islanders living in the United States. APICC was founded in 1996 by representatives of five nonprofit arts groups: Asian American Dance Performances, First Voice, Asian Improv aRts, the Asian American Theater Company, and Kearny Street Workshop. Since 1998, the center has promoted the artistic and organizational growth of San Francisco’s API arts community by organizing and presenting the annual United States of Asian America Festival as well as commissioning contemporary art for and by the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. https://www.apiculturalcenter.org 

 

“In the Skin of Her Hands” is supported in part by Dance Mission Theater, United States Artists, CA$H a grants program of Dancers’ Group, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and Generous Individuals. 

 

Lenora Lee & Hien Huynh photo by Robbie Sweeny

Lenora Lee Dance, Call for Participants!

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) is seeking participation for our new multimedia dance, “In the Skin of Her Hands,” a work dedicated to breast cancer survivors via a journey of healing, compassion, forgiveness and the unknown. LLD is looking for survivors and/or their loved ones who are open to sharing about experiences dealing with the disease, providing inspiration for the creation of the piece.

“In the Skin of Her Hands” will examine the effects of cancer on survivors, family, and community. So many women have been affected by breast cancer, including Lenora’s sister and mother. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.

LLD will premiere “In the Skin of Her Hands” 11/1 – 11/3/19 at Dance Mission Theater as part of the theater’s WORD Series (Womxn Oracular Radical Dance). We hope to include a panel of experts in the field as part of the post-performance programming, and will look into ways to encourage early cancer screenings.

We invite your participation for a moment of sharing, honoring your stories and experiences, and reflecting collectively to inspire resiliency and acknowledge the gathered bravery, compassion, and endearing support of loved ones. Those interested please email Lenora at LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com or call 415-913-8725 by Sunday, 7/28/19.

With much appreciation,
Lenora and Company

Photo Credit: Robbie Sweeny
Dancers: Johnny Nguyen, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai

UPNEXT! ‘In the Skin of Her Hands’ 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,
YBGF CHOREFEST 2019
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

Details:

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.

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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. http://angelislandferry.com/schedule/

RSVP via email to Shannon Preto lenoraleedancemanager@gmail.com 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:
http://www.lenoraleedance.com/2019/01/re-staging-of-critically-acclaimed-award-winning-within-these-walls-and-world-premiere-of-sequel-dreams-of-flight/

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/within-these-walls-its-sequel-dreams-of-flight-tickets-54015520877

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
www.asianart.org/events/1662

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.

PROGRAM

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.

Unfold
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

BIOGRAPHIES

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. www.gamahsu.com

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. www.hien-huynh.com

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. alanyip.art

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