Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

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

www.LenoraLeeDance.com For questions, email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com, (415) 913-8725

CALL FOR VOLUNTEER: CLICK HERE for more info

 

“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.”

PRESS

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

ADMISSION + TRANSPORTATION

Join us for the excursion and adventure!

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

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 LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com to inquire.

 

SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTURES: Company: Blue and Gold Fleet

SUGGESTED TRANSPORTATION TIMES:

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 http://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/ferry/angel-island/

 

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 http://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/ferry/angel-island/

 

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 http://angelislandferry.com/schedule/ 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 http://angelisland.com/usis/ 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:http://angelislandferry.com/parking-information/. Parking is between $5 and $15 for the day.

For more info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com, email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com, or call (415) 913-8725

PLEASE NOTE:

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

BACKGROUND

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.

LENORA LEE DANCE

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. www.LenoraLeeDance.com

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

LLD is seeking your support!

Within These Walls & Dreams of Flight Indiegogo

DEAR FRIENDS,

September of last year we exchanged sorrow and travesty of justices at the Immigration Station on Angel Island. Tears and hearts aligned in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Am so honored to announce of the re-staging and launch of Within These Walls, alongside its sequel Dreams of Flight. Now we are at a critical juncture and wholeheartedly ask for your love and support in re-staging this momentous and heartfelt work. We deeply hope you can join us in sharing the love and light of voice in this coming year. Join Lenora Lee Dance in the re-staging of its award winning immersive, multimedia dance piece, Within These Walls, alongside the creation of its sequel Dreams of Flight, and its full length da​nce film. In honor, these works are dedicated to those detained, interrogated and processed at the Angel Island Immigration Station.

WTW premiered in a two-week run 9/9-9/17/17 at the Angel Island Immigration Station Barracks and is receiving incredible acclaim, through 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, is nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Performance by an Individual for his incredibly moving performance in the piece. LLD has been touring excerpts of the work in Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, with the possible re-staging of the full work on tour in Boston and other cities in 2019 and 2020.

WTW is 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. The Exclusion Act tore families apart and resulted in a mass incarceration experience that forever stamps the experience of Chinese in America. It was the first piece of legislation to restrict anyone from another country from immigrating to the U.S. It was enforced until 1943, with quotas until 1965, an 83 year period of Exclusion, which set precedent for anti-immigration laws to follow.

We are again at a particular crossroad in our nation’s journey with the current administration. The rights of immigrants, women, children, the impoverished, and communities of color are being heavily threatened. In the context of today’s mass detention of immigrants and the national debate taken to a new level, there is an acute sense of urgency in promoting efforts to engage the public in the process of reconciliation and restorative justice embodied in the effort to share the story of the Angel Island Immigration Station. The public’s engagement with this historic site is not only one of education or curiosity, but an affirmative, deeply felt, effort at healing.

GOING FORWARD INTO OUR 12TH SEASON

WTW remains one of LLD’s strongest and most ambitious works. It was an exhilarating experience that brought many to tears, including us. With immense displays of love and support from numerous communities across the country, we feel extremely thrilled and honored to announce the re-staging of WTW and its sequel Dreams of Flight at the Angel Island Immigration Station for three weekends in May, 5/4 – 5/19/19! This will be our longest performance run to date, a necessary and bold next step in making this pivotal work more accessible to the public.

Your support will also contribute to the creation of a dance film based on our WTW (2017) production, directed by award winning filmmaker/musician/composer Tatsu Aoki. Our last collaborative film with Tatsu, LIGHT, won Best Experimental Film at the Canada International Film festival in 2017. The WTW film will premier in Fall 2019, and will be made available to the broader public through the creation and sale of a DVD box set of this major signature piece.

ADDITIONAL WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE

– If your company has a Matching Gifts Program, your donation can go twice as far. Please contact me at LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com to inquire about the details

– If you have airline miles you can donate, we would greatly appreciate the contribution!! Please email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com

YOU CAN HELP SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, AND NETWORKS ABOUT THIS PROJECT AND OUR REQUEST FOR SUPPORT!

The timing is critical.

We seek to share a sense of gratitude for life and our lived experiences. The power in sharing these truths is boundless and with your support, we will continue to bring the possibilities to life.

With much appreciation, love, light & gratitude,

Lenora Lee Dance

Within These Walls & Dreams of Flight Indiegogo

Lenora Lee Dance receives 2 Isadora Duncan Awards!

Lenora Lee Dance is esteemed to be the honorary recipient of the Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Production by the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee. Alongside Hien Huynh, one of the main cast members who played a character inspired by the life of Wong Gong Jue, received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance by an Individual for his incredibly moving performance in the piece. We fully embrace the commemoration, support, and love from the community and all those involved in voicing forward justice, ancestry, and compassion. With inspiration, and forging fires of motivation, we strive to seek and share a sense of gratitude for life and our lived experiences. The power in sharing these truths is boundless and with your support, we will continue to bring the possibilities to life.

links:
Izzies Press Release
Isadora Duncan Awards, SF Chronicle, Claudia Bauer

Lenora Lee Dance tours to New York City, December 2018!

 

12/12/2018 : Museum of Chinese in America

215 Centre St, New York, New York 10013

Wednesday, 6:30pm – 7:30pm MOCAtalks

 

Within These Walls by Lenora Lee Dance
artist talk & performance excerpts featuring Lenora Lee & Hien Huynh

In 2017, Lenora Lee Dance launched a world premier of Within These Walls an immersive, multimedia performance work integrating dance, film, music, and research, which premiered in a two-week run 9/9-9/17/17 at the Angel Island Immigration Station. Inspired by experiences of those detained and processed at the Station, Within These Walls transformed and animated these historic spaces into sites for remembrance, as part of a community-wide commemoration of the 135th Anniversary of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend. The Exclusion Act tore families apart and resulted in a mass incarceration experience that forever stamps the experience of Chinese in America. The piece will be re-mounted at the Immigration Station along with a sequel in May 2019.

Join us on this special evening at the Museum of Chinese in America, for an in depth conversation and live performance by Lenora Lee and Hien Huynh. 

Tickets are $10 and include Museum general admission. MOCA members receive complimentary tickets. Not a Member? Join today here: MOCAmembership

Photography: Robbie Sweeny

Dancers: Lynn Huang & Hien Huynh

 

 

 

 

12/17/2018 : Chen Dance Center New York City

70 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

Monday, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

 

LIGHT (2017), 57 minutes
by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki

film screening, artist talk with Lenora Lee, Tatsu Aoki & Larry Lee

performance excerpts featuring Hien Huynh, Lenora Lee & Wayne Tai Lee

Awarded Best Experimental Film at the Canada International Film Festival

Inspired by the life of Bessie M. Lee, who, after migrating to New York City, spent two years in indentured servitude, LIGHT is a film in which dance, memory, music and poetry collide in a visual and aural landscape; a meditation on women being propelled into the unknown by courage and faith to risk their lives and everything they have for freedom. In LIGHT, Aoki and Lee highlight the lives of women, including Bessie M. Lee, who through the resilience and triumph over unimaginable experiences, were grounding forces in the creation of the New York Chinatown community in the early 1900s.

Join us for a free special dance film screening, talk back, & performance excerpts from LIGHT (2017)

In association with Lenora Lee Productions, Innocent Eyes and Lenses Films, and Asian Improv aRts, powered by Asian Improv Nation

In memory of Bessie M. Lee 
(1894 – 1955)

Photography: Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang

Dancer: Wei-Shan Lai

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Tatsu Aoki (director and filmmaker) is a prolific artist, a filmmaker, composer, musician, felloweducator, and a consummate bassist and shamisen lute player. Based in Chicago, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, ranging from traditional Japanese music, jazz, experimental, and creative music and producing experimental films. Aoki studied experimental filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is now adjunct associate professor in the Film, Video, and New Media Department, teaching film production and history. He has produced more than 30 experimental films and is one of the most in-demand performers of bass, shamisen, and taiko, appearing in over 90 recording projects. www.tatsuaoki.com

Hien Huynh (dance) was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. Through embodied practice, Hien endeavors to access channels with the inner and outer to circulate awareness and human compassion. He is honored to have performed in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, Kim Epifano, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, PUSH Dance Company, The MoveMessenger(s), Christy Funsch & Nol Simonse and punkkiCo.

Larry Lee, MSW, recently stepped down as the Executive Director of Womankind, formerly the New York Asian Women’s Center. Womankind is the largest domestic violence agency in the country focused on Asian Americans. It is a premier agency serving survivors of human trafficking and a national model for culturally-centered sexual assault services. Womankind is one of a few victim service agencies funded nationally to dedicate services to survivors of DV age 50 and above. Womankind provides a 24/7 helpline, counseling, case management, advocacy and shelter to survivors and their children. It offers employment, financial literacy, ESL and immigration and family legal services. Larry wrote MAP (Moving Ahead Positively), perhaps the only practice model organized to help survivors of violence in their recovery from trauma. Among other features, MAP utilizes the relationship between the survivor and counselor as the nexus for change and employs Asian wellness techniques – including acupuncture, tai chi, yoga and meditation. In October 2015 NYAWC received the Social Work Image Award from the National Association of Social Workers – NYC for the design and implementation of MAP. Larry successfully proposed and led a collaborative of Asian DV agencies to change Asian community attitudes toward domestic violence. He inspired an art therapy program that successfully engages and creates a community for teen children of DV survivors and a wellness program for highly probable human trafficking survivors. Womankind has collaborated with health, legal and child abuse prevention programs on many funded programs. Larry is a distinguished social work administrator, community leader and civic advocate. He is the founder of the first Mandarin and English dual language and dual culture public school in the Nation. Larry has been honored as a leading New Yorker; a top social worker; and outstanding alumnus of Hunter College.

Lenora Lee (producer, choreography director) Lenora Lee has been a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, and producer for the past 20 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater, and was a Visiting Scholar at New York University 2012-2016. She is a 2018 recipient, along with the Chinatown Community Development Center, of the Creative Work Fund award. Her 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. www.LenoraLeeDance.com

Wayne Tai Lee (dance) received a minor in dance from UC Berkeley and works as a professional statistician.  Wayne enjoys learning all matters related to statistics and dancing.