Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

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Convergent Waves: NYC 5/25-5/27 on Seaport Museum’s tall ship Wavertree

 

The award-winning Lenora Lee Dance, in collaboration with the South Street Seaport Museum, presents the World Premiere of the immersive, site-responsive, multimedia dance performances

 

Convergent Waves: NYC

 

1885 tall ship Wavertree at the South Street Seaport Museum
Permanently moored at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets), New York City
Saturday–Monday, May 25–27, 2024
1pm & 3:30pm shows

 

FREE admission, reservations required, limited capacity
Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.
Tickets and more information: seaportmuseum.org/convergent-waves

Additional images by Alice Chacon

“Convergent Waves: NYC” video teaser

 

Come aboard the Seaport Museum’s 1885 tall ship Wavertree, where the contemporary dance performance will unfold against the backdrop of this historic vessel. Choreographed by award-winning dancer-artistic director Lenora Lee and the talented performers, this slate of dance vignettes has been inspired by and created specifically for Wavertree to artfully showcase an interactive journey through different areas of the ship, while delving into the rich history of this international cargo vessel—the last of its kind. Dance will take place in the massive cargo hold, the forecastle where the crew ate and slept, the captain’s saloon, and more. The piece will provide insight into the unseen lives of the laborers who helped to build New York City into the global hub it is today and the unexpected role of the sea as a site for freedom from the racial and gender barriers of the era.

Sign up today to ensure your spot for a unique experience that weaves together movement, history, and maritime spirit. seaportmuseum.org/convergent-waves

The audience will not be seated during the one-hour event and will actively move throughout the ship to witness this site-specific performance to experience intimate and engaging moments with performers that include video projection, recorded original music, and text. Access to Wavertree for this program involves climbing a few stairs, walking up an angled gangway, and descending a few stairs onto the deck. The lower decks are accessible via stairs, while the upper deck requires navigating steep ladder-like stairs.

In the interest of safety for our dancers, performances will not take place in the rain. Advanced registration is encouraged for this free event but walkups will be accommodated as possible.

 

Audience Feedback from previous LLD immersive performances:

“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.”

 

 

NOTE FROM THE ARTISTS

by Johnny Huy Nguyễn

 

Who are the people that have built the United States? What are their stories? 

In the U.S. today, we are seeing the chasm of wealth inequality widen and the cult of personality grow for singular figures like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. In 2022, CEOs on average received 344.3 times the annual average salary of production workers in the key industry of their firm in the U.S. Within the next decade, economists estimate that the world is on course to see its first trillionaire.  

Yet how has this wealth been attained? On the back of workers; those who must labor to survive and endure dehumanizing labor conditions with little recourse. In researching for this piece, we learned that many of the ship’s crew generally consisted of men from economically poor regions of the world for whom employment aboard a sailing vessel was not an adventure, but a necessity. They worked long days tending to the needs of the ship for low pay. Who were these men who were gone months to even years at a time, struggling to keep their souls burning in the ubiquitous damp freeze, as the sea battered their bodies without a doctor on board?

Convergent Waves: NYC seeks to give these workers lost to time voice – to share not only their struggles, but their humanity, their dreams, and their lives. To honor their role in building New York City as a center of trade and connecting it to the rest of the globe. To acknowledge those who labor unrecognized in the modern day and recognize their right to humanity.

 

SOME BRIEF HISTORY

Tall Ship Wavertree was built in 1885. Only 20 years out from the abolition of slavery and 3 years out from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. From 1885 to 1910, Wavertree circumnavigated the globe at least three times and called at ports all around the world, including: Ireland, Germany, France, and Belgium; Peru, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina; Sri Lanka, India, Burma, and Singapore; Australia; Canada, and the United States— landing here in New York in 1895.

Black men who found opportunities in the harbors as sailors were heavily integrated despite American laws restricting employment for Black people even after abolition. Life at sea was a way to escape enslavement and earn a free living in free states and in foreign ports.

Women also found their way aboard ships, but in secrecy. Disguising themselves as men, women sought better wages or to live a life without gender-based restrictions. The life of a sailor, though harsh and unforgiving, gave many men and women opportunities that were forbidden to them on land.

It was not uncommon for the ship’s Master to bring his family aboard. With many voyages lasting months or years, the only way to keep the family together was to bring them on the journey. While captains’ wives typically had no official duties, there are a number of examples of women learning navigation, and in one case even taking command of the ship after the captain had fallen ill.

 

CHARACTERS

Yuri Tang played by Naoko Brown

陳加恩 Chan Ga Yun played by IJ Chan

Sailing Master Tang played by Peter Cheng

Violet Kim Preto played by Flora Hyoin Kim Han

Lynette Preto played by Lynn Huang

Charlie Retcho played by Nelson Enrique Mejia Jr. 

First Mate Salcedo played by Miguel Miranda

Mikaela Preto played by Mikaela Morisato

Rigger Dỗ played by Johnny Huy Nguyễn 

Boatswain Patterson played by Caleb Patterson

Captain Preto played by Shannon Preto

Carpenter Woods played by Brandon Woods

 

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

Captain Preto. Oversees the daily operations of the ship and brokers deals in the tramp trade. He’s fallen ill on this leg of the journey and finds himself needing to delegate his duties.

Lynette Preto. Captain Preto’s wife. In her time on the ship, she has learned navigation and with Captain Preto ill, helps take command of the ship. In the eye of the storm, she aids in bringing the ship, crew, and her family towards safety. 

Violet Preto. Captain Preto’s eldest daughter takes responsibility for the family’s chores and assists her father with any of his additional duties on the ship. She misses the mainland but feels a great duty to her family and the ship.

Mikaela Preto. Captain Preto’s youngest daughter born on a ship, she knows little of life on the mainland and has a strong attachment to the Wavertree and its crew.

Yuri Tang. An ethereal presence of the sea calling out to the crew of the ship as they long for loved ones and their hearts ache for home. She appears to Sailing Master Tang in the form of his wife back home.

First Mate Salcedo. Hailing from Peru and the son of a fisherman. Often at odds with Sailing Master Tang, his pride gets the best of him as he steers the ship into a storm. 

Sailing Master Tang. Coming from a long line of sailors, his father and grandfather worked for the East India Company. Close confidante to Captain Preto. He dreams of the warm seas of the Pacific and his beloved wife. 

Rigger Dỗ. Coming from a family of peasants, he works to send the little money he makes back to his wife and children. He cares deeply for the wellbeing of his peers.

Boatswain Patterson. Straightforward in manner with no deep ties to his former life on land. Finds himself drawn to the captain’s daughter, Mikaela.

Charlie Retcho. Chose to exchange the harsh work of the factories for the harsh work of the sea. A newer crew member looking to leave his past behind and live in the present.

陳加恩 Chan Ga Yun. Rejecting the roles assigned to women of her day, she has joined the crew disguised as a man. Her choice leaves her at odds with her family, as she longs to see the world.

Carpenter Woods. With few opportunities for Black men on the mainland, he works hard saving money to start his own trading business in Brazil, hoping to find true freedom.



Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography: Lenora Lee in collaboration with Performers / Dance Collaborators: Naoko Brown (Boston), IJ Chan (Boston), Peter Cheng (NYC), Flora Hyoin Kim Han (Boston), Lynn Huang (SF), Nelson Enrique Mejia Jr. (NYC), Miguel Miranda (NYC), Mikaela Morisato (NYC), Johnny Huy Nguyễn (SF), Caleb Patterson (NYC), Shannon Preto, Brandon Woods (NYC)

Recorded Music Composed by Vijay Iyer, Tatsu Aoki, Francis Wong

Text: Genny Lim & the cast

Media Design: Lenora Lee & Olivia Ting

Stage Managers: Shannon Preto & Lucy Tafler

Production Consultant: Hannah Pascoe

Production Assistant: Rebekah Joy Herrera

Translation: Jacinta Wu Goo, Mrs. Chan, Miguel Miranda

Photos: Alice Chacon, Victor Lin, Robbie Sweeny

Partner Organizations: South Street Seaport Museum, Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

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. “Movement” composed and performed by Tatsu Aoki, with Mwata Bowden, Robbie Hunsinger, Paul Kim, Hide Yoshihashi, courtesy of Southport 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.

 

 

LLD Staff & Consultants

Artistic Director: Lenora Lee

Project Consultant: Lucy Tafler

Rehearsal Director: Johnny Huy Nguyễn

Choreographic Assistant: Sawako Ogo

Graphic Design: Olivia Ting

Convergent Waves: NYC is part of a multi-city project made possible in part by National Endowment for the Arts, and 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. Companion pieces by Lenora Lee Dance include Convergent Waves: Boston April 2022, Convergent Waves: SF June 2022

The Convergent Waves companion pieces in Boston, San Francisco and NYC 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, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, South Street Seaport Museum, and by Generous Individuals. The creation, presentation of and production residencies for Convergent Waves: Boston 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 was also supported in part by an award to Pao Arts Center from the National Endowment for the Arts, and artist residencies at ArtsEmerson, Pao Arts Center, and Bunker Hill Community College.

 

 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

 

Lenora Lee Dance
For the last 15 years Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) has pushed the envelope of intimate and large-scale multimedia, immersive dance performance connecting various styles of movement/dance, film, text, research and music to culture, history, and human rights issues. LLD’s works are set in both public and private spaces, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. From the proscenium, to even underwater, the company’s pieces are site-responsive and immersive calling audiences into deep engagement with the work and environment. Through partnerships locally and nationally, LLD’s work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement, and educational programming signifying the power of art as a movement for change. www.LenoraLeeDance.com, @LenoraLeeDance

 

About the South Street Seaport Museum
The South Street Seaport Museum, located in the heart of the historic seaport district in New York City, preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, the Museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working 19th century print shops, and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.” seaportmuseum.org
#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #WhereNewYorkBegins
@SouthStreetSeaportMuseum – Facebook
@seaportmuseum – Instagram, X, TikTok

 

 


LLD’s 15th Anniversary Season February 2-4, 2024 at Dance Mission Theater!

 

Asian Improv aRts and API Cultural Center present 

Lenora Lee Dance’s 15th Anniversary Season

with World Premieres of In Visibility and Convergent Waves: EP

by the award-winning company Lenora Lee Dance

 

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

Friday February 2nd and Saturday February 3rd @ 8pm, 

Sunday February 4 @ 2pm

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

 

In Visibility (15 minutes) is an immersive piece inspired by the organizing to stop the prison to ICE detention pipeline in California. It  focuses on the separation of families and mass detention of immigrants as forms of incarceration, and serves as a meditation on reconciliation and restorative justice, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.

and 

Convergent Waves: EP (45 minutes) highlights experiences of Chinese and Latin American migration in El Paso over the decades and as Title 42 came to an end. This piece is narrated through the voices of those living in these cities for generations, as well as those working on the ground providing resources and support for the individuals and families crossing the border.

 

LOCATION

Dance Mission Theater

3316 24th Street (between Mission & Valencia Streets), SF, CA 94110, (415) 894-1187

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

 

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

$25 – $60

For more info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com, https://dancemissiontheater.org/shows-and-events/

For questions email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com, or call (415) 570-8615‬

 

Video teasers:

In Visibility 

Convergent Waves: EP 

 

Content Advisory: The audio score for this performance contains individuals sharing about experiences of trauma, incarceration, and ICE detention. Parts of these stories may be triggering for some audience members. 

Press Responses from LLD’s 2022 In the Movement production: 

”a masterful example of how art can be used in support of social justice… personal, heartrending, and enthralling” Jen Norris Dance Reviews

“Their bodies become pathways for retelling: spiraling, sensing, pressing, balancing, tracing, holding, falling, reaching, rearranging….We need to feel all this depth.”

Melissa Lewis Wong



Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with the Performers / Dance Collaborators

Performers / Dance Collaborators: Victoria Amador, Lynn Huang, SanSan Kwan, Sebastian Le, Gilberto Martínez Martínez, Johnny Huy Nguyen, Catalina O’Connor

Rehearsal Director: Johnny Huy Nguyen

Additional Dance Collaborators (Video): Michelle Pacillas López & Andrea Saucedo of Mountain Movement Dance Company, El Paso

Recorded music directed by Francis Wong & Tatsu Aoki

Vocals by Helen Palma

Media Design by Lenora Lee & Olivia Ting

Videography by Lenora Lee

Light Design by Harry Rubeck

Interviewee Voiceover: Serafin Andrade, Mario Narciso Ávila Melgar, Jon-Michael Blowe, Maddie Boyd, Sami DiPasquale, Keith Fong, Sarah Lee, Melissa M. López, Lori Navarrete, Salesh Prasad, Mae Yee Quon, Lydia Yee Woo, Anonymous

Resource Partners: ABARA, Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc., Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Project Consultant: Lucy Tafler

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 15 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, IG: @LenoraLeeDance

 

RESOURCE ORGANIZATIONS

 

ABARA

In response to global migration in a polarizing world: Abara inspires connections beyond borders through mutual understanding, education, and meaningful action in pursuit of narrative, systems, and personal change. Abara hosts immersive border learning experiences, supports dozens of migrant shelters on both sides of the border, and is developing Abara House, a Borderland Center for Beloved Community sitting on a historic border river crossing. Abara envisions a global beloved community flourishing through justice, peace, healing and transformation.. Abara.org, abarahouse.org

 

Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc. (DMRS) is the largest provider of free and low-cost immigration-related legal services in West Texas and New Mexico. Established in 1986, DMRS provides a comprehensive range of legal representation and advocacy services to the immigrant community. These services include providing representation in family-based immigration cases, to survivors of domestic violence, trafficking and other crimes, to individuals seeking United States Citizenship, to individuals before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) who are in removal (deportation) proceedings, and to unaccompanied minor children.  Currently, DMRS serves more than 25,000 individuals every year. www.dmrs-ep.org, www.facebook.com/DMRSInc, https://twitter.com/DMRS_ElPaso, https://www.instagram.com/dmrs_elpaso

 

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center is a national non-profit organization that provides critical support at the intersection of criminal and immigration law through legal analysis, policy work, trainings, and technical assistance. www.ilrc.org

 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

Victoria Amador (dance) is a 1st-gen, Chicana, 4th year transfer currently attending UC Berkeley. She is majoring in Psychology with a Dance and Performance Studies minor. Victoria has been dancing since she was 5 years old, is trained in many dance genres, and still continues to explore movement. She plans to continue to dance for as long as she is able and hopes that she can keep dance a diverse, inclusive, and body-positive environment. Finally, she hopes you can enjoy and learn from the show! Instagram: a.victoria99

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

Sebastian Le (dance) graduated from the University of San Francisco with a major in Business Management and a minor in Dance. He is a contemporary dancer and is a part of Dance Generators, a USF based intergenerational dance company. With Dance Generators he worked with Liv Schaffer and Dazaun Soleyn on Pause to Bridge at ODC. IG:sebastian.l3

Catalina O’Connor (dance) is a modern dancer and teacher. She attended Saint Mary’s College of California and studied modern dance, as well as Mexican Folklórico and Flamenco, along with Hispanic Literature, and Art History. She is currently teaching with HeART with LINES and the Shawl-Anderson Youth Program. She has had the honor to work with Andrew Merrell, Liz Duran/Piñata Dance Collective, Davalos Dance, Chingchi Yu, and Andi Salazar.

IG:catalina_oconnor

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 in New York City with Jonathon Appels, Joanna Mendl Shaw, Chen and Dancers, and Maura Nguyen Donohue/In Mixed Company, among others. In the Bay Area she has danced with Scott Rubin, Chingchi Yu, and Jen Liu.  This is her 11th year with Lenora Lee Dance.  

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.

Gilberto Martínez Martínez (dance) is a Chicanx Queer male-identifying artist originally from the Central Valley. His work integrates nuances of his culture as he works towards an intersectional performance style. He has worked with high school and collegiate levels in choreography and acting studies with a focus on shows in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and modern. He has 6+ years of teaching experience in venues such as Roosevelt High School of the Performing Arts and Fresno City College. Currently, he is substituting experience for learning as he works towards his Theater, Dance, and Performance studies degree at UC Berkeley. He hopes to inspire others to love dance in their body. IG: @sir_gils 

Helen Palma (music) is a graduate of SF State University, receiving 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 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. The Helen Palma Trio performs in venues throughout the Bay Area focusing on Latin and Brazilian jazz, R&B and pop. https://helenentertains.wordpress.com/, IG, Linkedin 

Johnny Huy Nguyễn (dance, rehearsal direction) is a second generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary dance artist based in Yelamu (San Francisco) and son of courageous refugees. His physical works excavate memory, experience, and possibility into the present, while simultaneously interrogating the social, political, and cultural conditions that shape us. Nguyễn’s work has been presented by the United States of Asian America Festival, 500 Capp St, Asian Art Museum (SF) to name a few. Learn more: www.johnnyhuynguyen.com IG: @johnny.huy.nguyen

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

 

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEES

Serafin Andrade Lopez is an organizer who was detained in ICE custody for nineteen months. He was fortunate to be released. Now, his experiences motivate him to continue educating himself to fight the injustices our communities face.  He is working towards a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Serafin wants to use his education and experiences to help change these oppressive policies.

Mario Narcisco Ávila Melgar is a Social Services Coordinator and psychologist in Mexico, with a specialty in social justice and social development. Born and raised in Ciudad Juárez, Mario has collaborated with non-governmental organizations working with vulnerable populations such as those living with HIV, substance abuse, migrant populations along the border and LGBTQI+ groups. 

Jon-Michael Blowe is a native El Pasoan, a lieutenant with the El Paso Fire Department and a registered nurse. He plans to retire from the Fire Department in 2023 after 25 years of service to pursue a second career in nursing. He dedicated the last 18 years to training and teaching Capoeira under the direction of world renowned masters. Through this art form, he has traveled extensively, co-founded a samba percussion band and opened a martial arts studio.

Maddie Boyd is an immigrant’s rights attorney based in the Bay Area.

Sami DiPasquale is the executive director of Abara, a nonprofit based on the border in El Paso, Texas. Sami grew up in the Middle East, holds a BA in International Development and MBA focused on International Business. He has spent the past two decades working alongside refugee and immigrant communities in the U.S. and his enduring vision is to join others in bridging divides and moving toward mutual flourishing for all.

Keith Fong is the 4th of Alvalea and Fong Fong’s six children. He has a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and works as a continuous improvement consultant. He hosts a podcast “Way of the Quality Warrior.” He is married to Maly who also has a Chinese immigrant father and local mother. They have a daughter and son and live in El Paso, TX. His hobbies include photography and hiking and he’s active in professional and alumni organizations.

Sarah Lee (she/her) is a Senior Community Organizer at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Sarah is the daughter of Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong, Venezuela, and Canada. For over 10 years she has organized with student, faith, and immigrant communities on immigrant justice. In her role, she works alongside coalitions that advocate for policies in California that support people criminalized by the immigration and criminal punishment system. Twitter: sleesays

Melissa M. López, Executive Director/Attorney at Law, DMRS, was born and raised in El Paso. She earned a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and attended law school at the University of Texas School of Law graduating with a Doctor of Jurisprudence. She returned to El Paso to work as a Staff Attorney at DMRS and has been a practicing immigration attorney ever since. In February 2013 she took on the role as the Executive Director. She regularly presents at the Mexican Consulate and other community presentations. She hosted a weekly radio show, Amor al Migrante, which aired on the Bridge, El Paso’s Catholic Radio Station.

Lori Navarrete, M.P.H.

Lori is a native El Pasoan working as a grant writer and editor in the health sciences. Previously she worked for the U.S.-México Border Health Commission. Before returning home she assisted with a study on nutritional supplements for children in Senegal. During this time she also researched the impacts of Arizona policies on public health services among immigrant populations. She earned her Master of Public Health from the University of Arizona and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Trinity University.

Salesh (Sal) Prasad came to the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident at the age of 6. He participated in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, which he became the chairman of. He earned a GED and has taken over 17 vocational trades. His goal is to work for Asian Prisoner Support Committee and be part of immigration reform. He is also part of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice, Asian Law Caucus. 

Mae Yee Quon was born and raised in El Paso in 1948. She graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor in Education and received her master’s in educational administration from Sul Ross University. She worked for the Ysleta Independent School District teaching secondary science and as a secondary school administrator and retired in 2011. She is active in her church, El Paso Baptist Chinese Church teaching Children’s Church or playing the piano for worship service. She is also a member of the Chinese Benevolent Society.  

Lydia Yee Woo was born and raised in El Paso and is the youngest of four children. Soon after graduating from the University of Arizona with a BS in Microbiology she moved to San Antonio, Texas where she worked as an environmental real estate specialist. In 2022, she relocated back to El Paso to be closer to family. She is an active member in her local chinese church and her hobbies include gardening, traveling and cooking. 

 

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

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. Today, AIR continues this legacy supporting the next generation of artistic leaders in the field. 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. www.apiculturalcenter.org 

 

ABOUT THE VENUE

DANCE MISSION THEATER

Dance Mission connects and empowers diverse Bay Area communities and artists through all aspects of dance and dance theater, including the production of new works, instruction, and performance. We are an artist-driven, feminist organization dedicated to building community, addressing social justice issues, exploring cultural identities, promoting inclusivity, and creating a more peaceful world through collective action.  Many women-identified artists, artists of color, and culturally specific ensembles consider Dance Mission to be their artistic home. Master teachers of dance and music have created a thriving intergenerational community celebrating cultural traditions, welcoming students of all backgrounds. Dance Mission is also the home of Krissy Keefer’s Dance Brigade, San Francisco’s groundbreaking, feminist social-change modern dance company. https://dancemissiontheater.org/

 

LLD’s 15th Anniversary Home Season is supported by Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Dance Mission Theater, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and by Generous Individuals. 

Special Thanks to: ABARA, Stefanie Block Uribarri of Pearl Properties, Paul de la Peña-Franceschi,  Max Grossman & El Paso History Alliance (Facebook), El Paso Historical Society, University of Texas, El Paso Special Collections, Gloria Espinoza, Maureen Lam, Nancy Lam, Cindy Liou, Aracely López, Melissa Melpignano, Mountain Movement Dance Company (El Paso), Manny Pacillas, Edith Tapia


2023 into 2024 – LLD’s 15th Anniversary!

Dear Friends and Supporters!

With love, grace, compassion, and gratitude we greet you today, and hope that 2023 has been a year full of clarity and rejuvenation for you and your loved ones. We have had the honor to work on 8 major projects this year and would like to share a recap of 2023 and announcements for 2024. Lenora had the opportunity to travel to Lima, Peru, El Paso, TX, Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, and to NYC to jump start large-scale local, national, and international collaborations!

Recapping 2023!

  • LLD was invited by U.C. Berkeley’s Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies to re-stage our award-winning Within These Walls performance piece on 14 Cal students, February 23-26 at Zellerbach Playhouse
  • We created and screened a documentary film about Within These Walls: Conversations with creative collaborators and dancers of the next generation
  • LLD had a world premiere screening of our And the Community Will Rise (ACWR) film as part of CAAMFest May 12, and were awarded BEST FEATURE FILM by Experimental, Dance & Music Film Festival (screened in July)! ACWR focuses on the advocacy for Ping Yuen housing tenants’ rights, by residents and Chinatown Community Development Center staff.
  • LLD also started the research and creation processes for the following 2024 premieres!!

Celebrating our 15th Anniversary Season!!

  • February 2 – 4, 2024 premieres of In Visibility (inspired by the advocacy and organizing to stop the prison to ICE detention pipeline) and Convergent Waves: EP (highlighting experiences of migration in El Paso & Ciudad Juárez as Title 42 came to an end) at Dance Mission Theater, SF. 
  • May 25 – 27, 2024 premiere of Convergent Waves: NYC, immersive site-responsive performances on South Street Seaport Museum’s 1885 Tall Ship Wavertree (NYC), inspired by the history of the international cargo ship.
  • Spring 2024 screening of a short documentary dance film about Chinese migration to Peru, supported in part by Good Medicine Picture Company. 
  • September 2024 Lima, Peru premiere of A Bridge to Now focusing on Chinese migration to SF & Lima, cross migration between North & South America, intercultural integration and support between Chinese & Peruvian communities in the Americas. 
  • We will screen the final version of our Within These Walls experimental film by filmmaker Tatsu Aoki, inspired by those detained at the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Your support is critical during this time 

As LLD expands its reach deeper into national and international communities and conversations, we ask for increased support. Funding at those levels is highly competitive and out of reach for many communities of color and small arts organizations. Given increasing tension between the U.S. & China, propelled by COVID-19 and the scapegoating of Asians in the U.S. and globally, we are faced with heightening discrimination. The appreciation of diversity and uplifting voices of collaboration will bring us together, dissolving barriers of injustice, and witnessing our collective abilities to grow and unify.

We immensely appreciate your generosity and invite you to contribute today! 

Your gift will directly support our collaborating artists, designers, filmmakers, performances, films, discussions, and educational programs. With the intensity and productivity of this year, and the myriad of adjustments we’ve all had to make in our lives due to the pandemic, we are ever so grateful for your continued support. Wishing you grace, compassion, and love,

Lenora Lee, Artistic Director      

Lucy Tafler, Project Consultant

Johnny Huy Nguyen, Rehearsal Director


Call for NYC Dancers!

 

CALL FOR NYC DANCERS!

 

Award-winning San Francisco-based company, Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) is seeking NYC-based dancers for outdoor immersive performances in NYC on South Street Seaport Museum’s Tall Ship Wavertree May 24 – 27, 2024

 

LLD is looking for NYC-based dancers with experience in choreography, improvisation, collaboration, modern / contemporary dance, and/or other dance styles, available to work in-person during the following intensive periods in NYC:

  • Around September 25 – October 1, 2023, (with photo/video shoot)
  • Around November 10 – 18, 2023, (with photo/video shoot)
  • Around March 16 – 24, 2024 (with photo/video shoot)
  • Around May 16 – 23, with shows May 24 – 27, 2024 

Note additional rehearsals may be added via Zoom and intensive rehearsal periods above are subject to change.

 

“Convergent Waves: NYC” will be a series of site-responsive, immersive dance performances in NYC, May 24 – 27, 2024 on South Street Seaport Museum’s Tall Ship Wavertree. It will focus on the experiences of NYC residents and advocates, making a collective statement for the preservation of community, eliciting stories of agency, resilience, and transformation. 

 

The piece will feature 8 dancers from San Francisco, Boston, and NYC, with recorded original music by Tatsu Aoki, Francis Wong, as well as by NYC based Vijay Iyer, who has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Grammy nomination, amongst other awards. The movement will be created collaboratively with the dancers, directed by Lenora Lee. All photo / video shoot, rehearsal, tech, and performance time is paid.

 

This is part of a multi-city project supported in part by New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project and Expeditions Tour Planning Grant, National Endowment for the Arts, Pao Arts Center, ArtsEmerson, Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Asian Art Museum, South Street Seaport Museum, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, A/P/A Institute at NYU, and Generous Individuals. “Convergent Waves: Boston” premiered in Boston at Pao Arts Center April 2022, and “Convergent Waves: SF” premiered in San Francisco at Asian Art Museum June 2022. 

 

Those interested can fill in THIS SUBMISSION FORM with the following information by Friday, August 11, 2023 Midnight ET

  • your contact phone number 
  • a resume or CV
  • your website and/or social media handle
  • 1-2 video links of dance pieces you have choreographed or are featured dancing in 

Auditions are by invitation only and will occur via Zoom and/or in person August 16 – 25, 2023. Notifications sent by August 30, 2023. For questions please email lenoraleedance@gmail.com.

 

About the Company

For the last 15 years Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) has been pushing the envelope of intimate and large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement/dance, film, text, research and music to culture, history, and human rights issues. LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. At times crafted for the proscenium, or underwater, and at times the pieces are site-responsive, immersive and interactive. Its work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement, and educational programming. 

LLD is directed by Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 25 years. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, a Visiting Scholar at the A/P/A Institute at New York University, a 2019 United States Artists Fellow, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater, Pao Arts Center and ArtsEmerson. She will be a 2023-2024 Artist in Residence at Bunker Hill Community College.

 

 

Samples of LLD’s work 

 

“In the Movement” at ODC Theater, September 1-11, 2022 

 

 

 

“And the Community Will Rise” dance film trailer (2023)

Screened at Center for Asian American Media’s 41st anniversary of CAAMFest. 

Won “Best Feature Film” at the Experimental, Dance & Music Film Festival 2023

 


“And the Community Will Rise” awarded Best Feature Film 2023!

 

 

“And The Community Will Rise” is awarded Best Feature Film

by Experimental, Dance & Music Film Festival!

 

Experimental Dance & Music Film Festival & Wildsound Festival TV is screening our film on-demand July 9-10, 2023 here as part of their Experimental Documentary Showcase!

 

See what audiences are saying about our film:

 

 

CLICK HERE to listen to the Wildsound Podcast with director Lenora Lee 6/15/23

CLICK HERE to read the Film review by Victoria Angelique

 

  .  

 

 

 

LLD is thrilled to have the World Premiere screening of our film “And The Community Will Rise”

at #CAAMFest2023 as part of Being, Belonging & Beyond – SF Bay Area AAPI Dance Film Festival, co-presented by 500 Capp Street, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC), and CAAMFest

Sunday, 5/14, 2pm at Kapwa Gardens, 967 Mission St, SF (between 5th & 6th Streets)

Click here for tickets & info

AAPI DANCE FILM FESTIVAL SCHEDULE, 5/14, starting 2pm:

1:00 PM: Doors Open

2:00 PM: Premiere Screening: AND THE COMMUNITY WILL RISE by Lenora Lee Dance

3:30 PM: Performance by Megan Lowe + Shorts Program Screening:

  • BREATHE (HINGA) by Sammay Dizon & Kat
  • a film by Melissa Lewis Wong
  • Film excerpts from Alleluia Panis/KULARTS

5:00PM: Reception featuring Sarap Shop & Victory Hall

6:00PM: Premiere Screening & Performance: HOME(in)STEAD by Megan Lowe & Johnny Huy Nguyen

6:30PM AAPI Dance Film Panel Discussion with Audience Q&A

Tickets includes re-entry for any of the presentations. Audience are welcome to come and go for any portion of the program as they please. ASL interpretation provided.

This film festival is also part of APICC’s 26th United States of Asian America Festival (USAAF).

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) presents CAAMFest, the nation’s largest Asian American festival, celebrating 41 years of Asian American Stories May 11 – 21, 2023. For information on screenings and tickets, visit caamfest.com.


“Remembrance Rise” by Francis Wong, Lynn Huang, Flora Han 5/19-5/20!

 

Remembrance Rising: In Tribute to the World War II Comfort Women

 
Remembrance Rising: In Tribute to the World War II Comfort Women is an interdisciplinary work featuring poetry, dance, and music in dialogue with the public art piece Comfort Women Column of Strength Memorial in St. Mary’s Square in San Francisco Chinatown.
 
Featuring composer/saxophonist Francis Wong, dancer and poet Lynn Huang, dancer Flora Hyoin Kim Han, tuba performer William Roper, violinist Sandy Poindexter, and multi-percussionist Karen Stackpole. Parallel to the performing arts work is a companion zine set, created and illustrated by Katie Quan, focusing on the experiences of comfort women, Jan Ruff-O’Herne and Maria Rosa Henson.
 
Both projects are made possible through the inaugural Comfort Women Research and Creative Scholarship Small Grant Awards program. Presented by Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, and Lenora Lee Dance.
 
Admission free!
Please click on the date below to reserve your spot on Eventbrite!
 
Friday, May 19, 7-8pm, at Manilatown Heritage Foundation (868 Kearny St., SF) 
Click here for closest parking garage
 
Saturday, May 20, 2-3pm, at St. Mary’s Square (651 California St., SF) outdoors at the site of the Comfort Women Memorial. Please note: there is only a public restroom on site.
Click here for closest parking garage

“Making Ground” USF Dance Ensemble 4/20 – 4/22/23, 8pm!

 

Join us at University of San Francisco Thursday, 4/20 – Saturday 4/22

for an evening of incredible dance works by Jennifer Polyocan, Marie Hamel, Sebastian Le, Grace Shaver, Mirage Witzer, and Lenora Lee, as part of “Making Ground” the USF Dance Ensemble Spring Concert

 

“In Visibility” (excerpt)

A meditation on reconciliation and restorative justice, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend. 

Conceived & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with Dance Collaborators / Performers: Mary Jane Agnew, Genna Bolino, Erica Edberg, Natalia Garcia Moreno, Chisa Kobayashi, Zoë-Elise Quon, David Robinson

Music directed by Tatsu Aoki, with Kioto Aoki, JoVia Armstrong, Mwata Bowden, Suwan Choi, Coco Elysses, Jamie Kempkers, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Michael Zerang. Courtesy of Asian Improv Records

Interviewee Voiceover by Serafin Andrade

Media Design, Video & Soundscore Editing by Lenora Lee (if projection works on the floor of the theater)

Costumes by Lenora Lee and the Dance Collaborators / Performers

This excerpt is part of a larger work being created for Lenora Lee Dance’s 15th Anniversary Performances 2/2 – 2/4/24 at Dance Mission Theater.

David Robinson, Photo by Cheshire Issacs


“Within These Walls” documentary film!

 

WITHIN THESE WALLS
Conversations with creative collaborators and dancers of the next generation

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

Directed by Lenora Lee & Francis Wong

Edited by Joel Wanek

Cinematography by Ben Estabrook, Edward Kaikea Goo, Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting, Rebecca Tsai, Joel Wanek

Production and rehearsal assistance by Lynn Huang, SanSan Kwan, Keanu Marquez, Johnny Huy Nguyen, Lucy Tafler

Featuring interviewees (in order of audio): Genny Lim, Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting, Francis Wong, SanSan Kwan, Crystal Song, Eika Tokunaga, Emma Lowe, Kimberly Fong, Tatianna Steiner, Teo Lin-Bianco

Additional film, performance, and rehearsal footage taken from the 2023 experimental dance film directed by Tatsu Aoki, edited by Kishino Takagishi, the 2017 and 2019 performances at the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island, and 2022 rehearsal footage for the Berkeley Dance Project, a production of the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at U.C. Berkeley.

COPYRIGHT 2023 Lenora Lee Productions, LLC
www.LenoraLeeDance.com
@LenoraLeeDance

_______________

WITHIN THESE WALLS re-staging

the award-winning multimedia work by Lenora Lee Dance
re-staged with UC Berkeley students as part of Berkeley Dance Project 2023
February 23 – 26, 2023 at Zellerbach Playhouse
Info

CLICK HERE to see a video of performance excerpts 

________________

 

WITHIN THESE WALLS experimental dance film

directed by Tatsu Aoki
screenings begin Spring 2023
CLICK HERE to see the film trailer 

 


“Within These Walls” re-staged 2/23 – 2/26/23 at Zellerbach Playhouse!

 

WITHIN THESE WALLS

by Lenora Lee Dance

Re-staged with UC Berkeley Students for Berkeley Dance Project 2023

Presented by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS)

February 23–26 at Zellerbach Playhouse

 

Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee

Choreographed by Lenora Lee in collaboration with
The Lenora Lee Dance Cast (2017/ 2019) and The Berkeley Dance Project Cast (2022/2023)

Stage Manager Keanu Marquez 

Production Coordinator SanSan Kwan

Costume Designer Wendy Sparks

Lighting Designer Ray Oppenheimer

Scenic Designer Peet Cocke

Projection Designer Olivia Ting

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

Poetry & Text Genny Lim & Wong Gung Jue

Voiceovers Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, Johnny Huy Nguyen, Shannon Preto

Berkeley Dance Project Cast

Cristopher Avila (Law Oy Hup), Kimberly Fong (Lang Jing), Jingwen “Caitlin” Han (Ling Ha), Teo Lin-Bianco (Wong Gung Jue), Emma Lowe (Hieu Yieu), Noah Ryang (Yieu Yun), Jiho Seo (Huey Hung Gay), Eika Tokunaga (Lei Wai), Erin Yoon (Lee Ping To), Victoria Amador (Missionary Gwan), Verena Lee (Interpreter Chan), Gilberto Martinez Martinez (Inspector Bennington), Liam Quinn (Dr. John Williams), Tatianna Steiner (Interpreter Wong)

2019 Cast (Lenora Lee Dance)

George Cheng, Derek Harris, Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu, Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, Carl Irons, SanSan Kwan, Wei-Shan Lai, Chloe Luo, Johnny Nguyen, Dalmacio Payomo, Alley Wilde

with contributions from Original 2017 cast members Yao Dang. Timothy Huey, Eric Koziol, Wayne Tai Lee, Kevin Lo, Shannon Preto, Stacey Yuen

Collaborators

Rehearsal Assistants Lynn Huang, SanSan Kwan, Johnny Huy Nguyen, Lucy Tafler

Dramaturg Crystal Song

Assistant Stage Manager & Production Coordinator Hazel Horton

Assistant Scenic Designer & Calligrapher Shin Yang

Assistant Costume Designers Ace Chen, Abhiraj Muhar

Light Board Operators Audrey Lee-Gardner, Riley Richardson

Sound Technician Emily Fassler

Sound & Video Board Operators Gibran Mustafa, Amelia Patterson, Nick Reulbach

Deck Crew Sohel Bagai, Callista Crabtree, Eugeniu Cuznetov, Kimi Galang Villegas

Wardrobe Crew Hannah Barukh, Jasmine Cevallos, Leonora Sanchez

Scenic Work-Study Assistant Lev Collins 

Costume Work-Study Assistants Amanda Hayami, Jennifer Hernandez, Cara Maccianti, Autumn Peak, Tessa Schaap, Tiffany Stratton

Electrics Installation & Focus Students of Theater 175B

Camera Operator & Editor Ben Estabrook

Second Camera Operator Joel Wanek

Photographer Robbie Sweeny

Front of House & Box Office Staff Provided by Cal Performances

TDPS Staff & Faculty Advisors

Production Manager Jamila Cobham

Assistant Production Manager Emily Fassler

Technical Director Joshua Frachiseur

Scene Shop Supervisor Timothy Kopra

Scenic Artist Zoë Gopnik-McManus

Properties Director & Carpenter Peet Cocke

Theater Supervisor Eugene Palmer

Costume Director Wendy Sparks

Head Costumer Jane Boggess

Assistant Costumer & Costume Curator Miyuki Bierlein

Lighting Design Advisor Ray Oppenheimer

Scenic & Costume Design Advisor Annie Smart

Stage Management Advisor Laxmi Kumaran

Administrative Staff Myriam Cotton, Ben Dillon,  Jean-Paul Gressieux, Megan Lowe, Michael Mansfield, Avy Valladares

__________

This production of Within These Walls was presented as part of

A YEAR ON ANGEL ISLAND:
IMMIGRATION HISTORIES & FUTURES

Sponsored by the Berkeley Arts + Design Initiative and Future Histories Lab

__________

Creation of the original Within These Walls was supported in part by Asian Improv aRts, Asian Improv aRts Midwest, API Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Angel Island Company, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Dance Mission Theater, and generous individuals.

___________

 

WITHIN THESE WALLS documentary

Conversations with creative collaborators and dancers of the next generation by Lenora Lee Dance in association with Lenora Lee Productions, Asian Improv aRts, Innocent Eyes and Lenses Films, Asian Improv aRts Midwest, powered by Asian Improv Nation Directed by Lenora Lee & Francis Wong. Edited by Joel Wanek. CLICK HERE to see the documentary 

 

WITHIN THESE WALLS experimental dance film

directed by Tatsu Aoki screenings begin Spring 2023. CLICK HERE to see the film trailer 


2022 into 2023!

 

Dear Friends and Supporters,

With love, creativity, compassion, and gratitude we greet you today, and hope that 2022 has been a year full of good health, recuperation, and clarity for you and your loved ones. With the flood of over 10 projects we have had the honor to work on this year, we are in the midst of working on four of them, and excited to share a recap. Many of these projects had been on hold due to the pandemic, and we are extremely grateful to return to in-person performances this year for many of them! 

  • Premiere of Convergent Waves: Boston in April 2022 at Pao Arts Center, Boston, inspired by the fight for affordable housing in Boston’s Chinatown
  • Premiere of In the Shape of Their Presence by SanSan Kwan & Lenora Lee in May, Joe Goode Annex, in loving memory of Kenneth Speirs & Karina Lee Howe, as part of Dance Lovers 10
  • Special preview virtual screening of the Within These Walls film final cuts in May, presented by ArtsEmerson and Boston Asian American Film Festival
  • Premiere of Convergent Waves: SF in June at Asian Art Museum, focusing on experiences of residents and advocates in SF’s Tenderloin, challenges of the pandemic, and the housing crisis
  • Co-presentation of Expansions // Horizons a celebration of music, dance, and film for Asian Improv aRts’ 35th Anniversary, advancing artists, activism, and culture on a national level with multiple generations of AIR artists in June at Asian Art Museum
  • Premiere of In the Movement in September at ODC Theater, highlighting experiences of migration, prison to ICE detention pipeline, and organizing to stop the pipeline and deportations.
  • Screenings of Convergent Waves: Boston at Boston Asian American Film Festival, and virtually through ArtsEmerson’s Projecting Connections: Chinese American Experiences Series Oct-Nov

2023 is our 15th Anniversary Season!!

  • LLD will screen the And the Community Will Rise film, focusing on the advocacy for Ping Yuen housing tenants’ rights, by residents and Chinatown Community Development Center staff.
  • We will screen the final version of our Within These Walls film by filmmaker Tatsu Aoki, inspired by those detained at the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island.
  • U.C. Berkeley’s Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies Department invited LLD to re-stage our Within These Walls performance on Cal students, February 23-26 at Zellerbach Playhouse
  • Premiere of In Visibility fall 2023, a companion piece to In the Movement, focusing on mass detention of immigrants and refugees as a form of incarceration.
  • Creation phase of Convergent Waves: NYC, a dance centered on the Asian American, Black, and Latinx intersection, community building and solidarity in NYC. 

Your support is critical during this time 

The increase in the cost of living and reduced audience capacity has made for a particularly hard year for the Arts. In an increasingly segregated society, artists hold a key to building bridges and creating the foundation for transformation. It is appreciation of diversity, and uplifting voices of collaboration that will bring our society together, allow us to dissolve barriers of discrimination, and witness our collective abilities to grow and unify.

 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

 

We immensely appreciate your generosity and invite you to contribute today! 

Your gift will directly support our collaborating artists, designers, filmmakers, performances, films, interviews, and discussions. With the intensity and productivity of this year, and the myriad of adjustments we’ve all had to make in our lives due to the pandemic, we are ever so grateful for your continued support. Wishing you grace, compassion, and love,

Lenora Lee, Artistic Director      

Lucy Tafler, Project Consultant

Sawako Ogo, Marketing Consultant    

 


“From Immersion to Access: Lenora Lee Dance’s Filmic Remediation” at Harvard 11/12/22!

 

“From Immersion to Access: Lenora Lee Dance’s Filmic Remediation”

SanSan Kwan & Lenora Lee are presenting at Harvard University Saturday, 11/12/22, 4-5pm

 

They will be sharing “Within These Walls” film excerpts, directed by Tatsu Aoki, and discussing transformation of the award-winning immersive dance performance to experimental dance film.

 

Lenora Lee, Lenora Lee Dance
SanSan Kwan, University of California, Berkeley
Moderator: Simone Levine, Harvard FAS CAMLab

 

Photo of SanSan Kwan & Dalmacio Palomo, by Robbie Sweeny


“Convergent Waves: Boston” film screenings October & December 2022!

 

“Convergent Waves: Boston”

by Lenora Lee Dance in collaboration with Pao Arts Center

With support from Mellon Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Emerson College, ArtsEmerson, Pao Arts Center

CLICK HERE for more information about “Convergent Waves: Boston”

Thanks to Anna Hoang for this interview! See “Convergent Waves: Boston” on-demand until 12/20! 


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

Post-Performance Panelists 

Sunday, 9/4 –  Borey “Peejay” Ai, Guisela Ramos Guardado, Rhummanee Hang

Sunday, 9/11 – Ericson Amaya Bonilla, Enrique Cristobal Meneses, Jessica S. Yamane


A heartfelt and explosive dance piece, “In the Movement” in part highlights the stories and experiences of individuals subjected to incarceration, ICE detention and deportation. This new work helps to illustrate systematic cycles of oppression, one such cycle keeping many immigrants either incarcerated, detained or cycling between the two. “In the Movement” serves as a meditation on reconciliation and restorative justice, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.

One of those interviewed is Community Advocate for Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC) and a former juvenile lifer Borey “Peejay” Ai, who recounts: “ICE detention is worse than prison. I couldn’t believe a system in America could treat people that way, regardless of your circumstances, your background…. It was heartbreaking.”

In addition to Ai, Artistic Director Lenora Lee interviewed advocates working with: 67 Sueños, an Oakland-based youth organizing program with political education, artivism, and trauma-healing; Cindy Liou, the daughter of Chinese-Taiwanese immigrants, attorney and immigrants’ rights advocate; Jessica S. Yamane, co-director at Pangea Legal Services, directly supporting impacted community members who are developing alternatives to deportation and detention; advocate, artist, counselor and organizer Enrique Cristobal Meneses who was born in Mexico City, Mexico; Rhummanee Hang, Co-Director of AYPAL, an API youth leadership development and movement-building organization based in Oakland Chinatown; and Melanie Kim, a State Policy Director at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and a leader in ICE out of California.

In the Movement features excerpts from a total of nine interviews in the sound score, which includes recorded music and vocals, as well as video filmed on Alcatraz Island. We strongly believe in the impact of this performance experience and the power of its emotional, and timely message.

CLICK HERE to view the video teaser 

 

Melissa Lewis Wong writes:

“The ugly underbelly of nationalism (saran-wrapped and suffocating) ruptures and emerges through a palette of perspectives; these voices (from Borey “Peejay” Ai, Ericson Amaya, Guisela Mishel Ramos Guardado, Rhummanee Hang, Melanie Kim, Cindy Liou, Enrique Cristobal Meneses and Jessica S. Yamane) meet our ears like beacons of truth: both hard to look at or away from.”

Click here to read full reflection by Melissa Lewis Wong

 

Jen Norris writes:

“In the Movement is a masterful example of how art can be used in support of social justice.”

“The nine narratives we hear are personal, heartrending, and enthralling…”

“Moyra Silva Rodriguez, with fists clenched, performs a powerful solo.”

“In the Movement is a rich and sometimes overwhelming experience, worthy of a second viewing.”

“May what we learned make powerful ripples through our community as the work to create immigrant justice continues.”

Click here to read the full review by Jen Norris

 

Here’s what audiences are saying:

“Amazing performances!”

“The work was so impactful.”

“Beautifully done”

“Heartfelt and compassionate” 

“A fervent call to action.”

 

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 (in order of appearance): Felicitas Fischer, Johnny Cox, Miguel F. Forbes, Moyra Silva Rodriguez, Sawako Ogo, Johnny Huy Nguyễn, Lynn Huang, SanSan Kwan. Dance Collaborators (video): Keanu Brady, YiTing Hsu, Hien Huynh

Recorded music directed by Francis Wong & Tatsu Aoki, with Kioto Aoki, JoVia Armstrong, Mwata Bowden, Suwan Choi, Deszon X. Claiborne, Coco Elysses, Jamie Kempkers, Melody Takata, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Michael Zerang

Vocals sung by Helen Palma include the songs “Gracias a la Vida” written and composed by Chilean Violeta Parra in 1966 and¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!” (“The people united will never be defeated”) composed by Sergio Ortega with text by Quilapayún in 1970. Both songs are part of the Nueva canción chilena (New Chilean Song) movement.

Interviewee Voiceover (in order of those speaking in the audio): Guisela Ramos Guardado, Ericson Amaya Bonilla, Anonymous, Borey “Peejay” Ai, Melanie Kim, Cindy Liou, Rhummanee Hang, Enrique Cristobal Meneses, Jessica S. Yamane

Media Design by Lenora Lee & Olivia Ting

Media Programming: Lucy Tafler

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

Artwork in Projection by (in order of appearance): 

  – Salvador Moncada 

     – “Dreaming and Changing” mural lead artist Francisco Amend Sanchez, assistant artist James Pops Delgado, 67 Sueños youth artists Alan, Alina, Angel, Areyto, Ayshah, Camila, Cassandra, Daniel, Evelyn, Genesis, Ime, Jade, Jessica, Jesus, Karla, Lili, Luna, Lyna, Mikayla, and Yajaira, 67 Sueños mural staff leads Jacqueline Garcia-Martinez, Ericson Amaya, Guisela Ramos, Edith Cercado, Daniell Lopez, Felix Amaya.

   – “Warrior” & “The Aztec” by Adan Castillo Moreno

    – Enrique Cristobal Meneses

Photos in Projection courtesy of Borey “Peejay” Ai and Asian Prisoner Support Committee, Enrique Cristobal Meneses

Resource Partners: Asian Prisoner Support Committee, 67 Sueños

Light Design by Jack Beuttler

Production Manager: Lenora Lee

ODC Technical Crew: Jackson Fields, Cole Johnson 

Production Assistants: Edward Kaikea Goo, Q. Quan

 

LLD Staff & Consultants

Artistic Director: Lenora Lee

Project Consultant: Lucy Tafler

Marketing: Sawako Ogo

Development Consultant: Francis Wong

Graphic Design: Olivia Ting

Photography: Robbie Sweeny

Public Relations: Mary Carbonara

 

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 and is currently working with Shawl Anderson Dance Center (SADC). He served East Bay Tutu Schools as their only male ballet teacher and taught a modern class for 4 to 6 year old boys at SADC. 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 and 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. Graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A in Performing Arts & Social Justice in Dance (2019), Felicitas 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 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 Associate 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 Nguyễn (dance) is a second generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary somatic artist based in Yelamu (a.k.a San Francisco) and son of courageous refugees. Fluent in multiple movement modalities including myriad street dance styles, contemporary, modern, and martial arts, Nguyen weaves together dance, theater, spoken word, ritual, installation, and performance art. He creates immersive, time-based works that recognize the body’s power, as a place of knowing, site of resistance, gateway to healing, and crucible for new futures. His recent works are Minority Without A Model (solo, 2021) and HOME(in)STEAD (duet, 2022). In addition to being an individual artist, he has been a core member of Lenora Lee Dance Company since 2017 and has appeared in the works of KULARTS and the Global Street Dance Masquerade to name a few. As an arts professional, he works as a development and program associate with Asian Improv aRts (AIR), helping to nurture the viability and sustainability of Asian American artists and organizations both locally and nationwide. 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 (9/4 panelist) 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.

 

Ericson Amaya (Lead Organizer at 67 Sueños, 9/11 panelist), known as “E”, is an Oakland native dedicated to serving migrant youth justice. E started off as a high school intern where he was able to build his political awareness, uncover his passion for art, and engage in community advocacy towards migrants and system impacted youth. Years later, E became a youth mentor which further allowed him to access his passion for teaching and spoken word. He took his skills and knowledge to other programs and schools across Oakland and neighboring cities, while handling his BA in Latino Studies at San Francisco State University. E has also served a term for the Oakland Youth Advisory Commission, a leadership training and civic engagement platform for youth focusing on education, employment, public safety, environment, and health for the city of Oakland.

 

Guisela Mishel Ramos Guardado (Program Coordinator at 67 Sueños, 9/4 panelist) a Guatemalan born, Oakland raised, young womyn. Oldest of 4, a plant lover who enjoys sunset walks with her dog Luna. During her High school career she was involved in many youth led groups and community organizing, a 67 Sueños Alum. A program that gave voice to undocumented youth and allies with students in mixed status families, through political education in the form of organizing and activism. She was part of The Anastacio Project by NAKA Dance Theater, through Eastside Arts Alliance, a project that shines light on the similarities in state sponsored violence against Black and Brown bodies, through police and border patrol. She started working at E.B.A.Y.C. in 2016 as an Academic Mentor at Urban Promise Academy. She recently left this position to join 67 Sueños as Program Coordinator. Guisela is passionate about being a positive mentor in Oakland youths lives, and hopes to have a lasting impact with the youth she serves, like her mentors had with her.

 

Rhummanee Hang (9/4 panelist) 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).

 

Enrique Cristobal Meneses (9/11 panelist) 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 continuing to work alongside our communities to bring the change we need. 

 

Jessica S. Yamane (9/11 panelist) 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.  

 

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

 

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. Today, AIR continues this legacy supporting the next generation of artistic leaders in the field. 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. www.apiculturalcenter.org 

 

In the Movement  is supported by Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, ODC Theater, California 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, Ny Nourn, Ben Wang, 67 Sueños, Pablo Paredes, Jacqueline Garcia-Martinez, Golden Gate National Recreation Center, Marty McGee.





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

 

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

_____________________

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.

___________________

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.

____________________

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.

____________________

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.
 
 

“In the Shape of Their Presence” premieres May 5-7, 2022 !

 

“In the Shape of Their Presence” (12 minutes)

by SanSan Kwan & Lenora Lee
In loving memory of Kenny Speirs & Karina Lee Howe

Created and performed as part of James Graham Dance Theatre’s Dance Lovers 10 Series May 2022,  an annual performance produced by James Graham Dance Theatre.  

May 5, 6, 7, 2022 at 8pm
 
Joe Goode Annex, 401 Alabama St., San Francisco (Near 16th St. BART)
 
 

Choreography & Performance: SanSan Kwan & Lenora Lee

Music: Tatsu Aoki and Francis Wong, with Kioto Aoki, Deszon X. Claiborne, Jaimee Kempkers, Karen Stackpole, Edward Wilkerson Jr. Courtesy of Asian Improv Records.

Text: Karina Lee Howe, SanSan Kwan, Lenora Lee, Li-Young Lee, Kenneth Speirs, Henry David Thoreau

Voiceover: Karina Lee Howe, SanSan Kwan, Lenora Lee, Johnny Nguyen, Bo & Kenneth Speirs

Media Design & Costumes: Lenora Lee & SanSan Kwan

Video / Audio Editing: Lenora Lee

Cinematography: Edward Kaikea Goo, Hien Huynh, Lenora Lee

Images: courtesy of Speirs & Kwan families, Lee & Howe families

SanSan Kwan, photo by Robbie Sweeny

 

 


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.


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/

Lenora Lee Dance, Reflection & Gratitude

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

 

 

Dear Community,

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Lenora Lee      Hien Huynh    Lucy Tafler

Artistic Director Marketing & Outreach Project Consultant

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

Photos by Robbie Sweeny 


CALL FOR ASIAN MALE & LATINX DANCERS!

CALL FOR ASIAN MALE & LATINX DANCERS!

 

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD), based in San Francisco, is seeking Asian/Asian American male and Latinx dancers for performances in Spring and Fall 2022. 

 

LLD is looking for dancers with experience in choreography, improvisation, collaboration, modern / contemporary dance, and or other dance styles, for the following two projects in 2022.

 

“Convergent Waves” in Boston April 21-24, 2022 & SF June 9, 2022

 

“Convergent Waves” will be a series of 6 site-specific, multimedia performances in Boston in and around Pao Arts Center, April 21-24, 2022, and in San Francisco June 9, 2022 at the Asian Art Museum, with the possibility of touring Los Angeles and NYC in 2023. This opportunity is for Asian/Asian American male dancers.

Rehearsals will begin in SF & Boston January 2022, with Boston rehearsals occurring one week per month almost every month, for approximately 20 hours each time through April 2022 shows. All flights, lodging, rehearsal and performance time is paid.

This work celebrates the contributions of residents, activists and non-profit leaders towards the preservation of community, as neighborhoods across the country inhabited for generations face displacement through gentrification.

_________________________

 

“In the Movement” in San Francisco – September or October 2022

 

“In the Movement” will be a new multimedia dance project: 6 in person and virtual performances with community dialogues September or October 2022. Comment end It will focus on the separation of families and mass detention of immigrants as a form of incarceration, and will serve as a meditation on reconciliation and restorative justice, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend. This opportunity is for Asian/Asian American male & Latinx dancers.

 

We’re looking at rehearsals in SF twice per week starting in May, with 2 weeks of performances somewhere in the 9/1 – 10/9/22 time frame, depending on everyone’s availability. Preference is for 9/1 – 9/11/22, but is TBD. All rehearsal and performance time is paid.

______________________

 

Those interested in either opportunity can email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com 

  • your contact number, 
  • a resume, 
  • your website or social media handle
  • up to four video links of dance pieces you have choreographed or are featured dancing in by Monday, October 18, 2021

 

Video call backs / Auditions will be between October 25 – November 4, 2021, with notifications sent by November 12, 2021.

 

Call (‪415) 913-8725‬ for more information.

http://www.lenoraleedance.com

Image credits: Hien Huynh & Johnny Nguyen by Kate Fim 
Image credits: Macio Payomo, Johnny Nguyen, SanSan Kwan & YiTing (Gama) Hsu by Kate Fim

 

These projects are supported in part by Pao Arts Center, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project and Expeditions Tour Planning Grant, ArtsEmerson, California Arts Council, Cal Humanities, San Francisco Arts Commission, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts and Generous Individuals.

 

About the Company

For the last 13 years Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) has been pushing the envelope of intimate and large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement/dance, film, text, research and music to culture, history, and human rights issues. LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. At times crafted for the proscenium, or underwater, and at times the pieces are site-responsive, immersive and interactive. Its work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement, and educational programming. 

 

LLD is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 23. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, a Visiting Scholar at New York University, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission, a 2019 United States Artists Fellow, and is currently an Artist in Residence at Pao Arts Center and ArtsEmerson.

 

Lenora Lee Dance creates multimedia and immersive dance performances connecting various styles of movement, music, and film to culture, history and human rights issues. www.LenoraLeeDance.com


LLD performs during Night Watch at Fort Mason, 9/17/2021

YiTing (Gama) Hsu & Hien Huynh photo by Robbie Sweeny

LLD Performs as part of Night Watch events this Friday, 9/17, 6:30pm inside the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason!

 
Shimon Attie’s Night Watch is a co-production between BOXBLUR and Immersive Arts Alliance, with events curated by Catharine Clark GallerySan Francisco Dance Film Festival, and Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
 
YiTing (Gama) Hsu & Hien Huynh of Lenora Lee Dance will perform excerpts of our award-winning “Within These Walls” INSIDE the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason this Friday, 9/17, 6:30pm!
 
We will begin in front of Cowell Theater and continue the performance inside the theater. Immediately following will be a screening of Dancers Without Borders, a program of short dance films that highlight stories of immigration. This indoor programming is co-presented by San Francisco Dance Film Festival and Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture’s Cowell Theater in collaboration with Catharine Clark Gallery.
 
Vaccination proof required for those viewing the performance, film screenings, and music indoors. 
 
Eventbrite Link to Night Watch: Click Here
Cowell Theater/Fort Mason Address: 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94123
 
Within These Walls” (2017) was originally staged and performed by a cast of 14 at the U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island State Park in 2017 and 2019. The piece is inspired by the experiences of those detained, interrogated, and processed there.
 
Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee
Created in collaboration with dance artists / performers Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu & Hien Huynh
Music Score by Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki, with Deszon X. Claiborne, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Michael Zerang
Poetry & Text by Genny Lim and Wong Gung Jue
Media Design & Editing by Olivia Ting
 
This event accompanies Shimon Attie’s Night Watch, a video portrait of refugees granted asylum in the U.S., which will be visible on a floating barge from Fort Mason. Co-Produced by BOXBLUR and Immersive Arts Alliance
 
Schedule
5 – 6:45pm | Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture presents their Fall Arts Preview Party with artwork across the campus. (Food trucks on-site at Fort Mason)
6:30 – 7:15pm | Night Watch viewing of the barge from Pier 2 at Fort Mason.
6:30 – 9:00 pm | Cowell Theater: (400+ seat theater)
Dancers Without Borders Film Screening – SF Dance Film Festival, Lenora Lee Dance performance, Classical Revolution, and a screening of Shimon Attie’s video, The View From Below. Tabling by non-profit organizations providing services to refugees and immigrants. Pre-registration for seats at the Cowell Theater is required.
 
**Night Watch will be visible at Fort Mason from 6:30–7:15pm, where programming will include music, dance, film, art, and partners organizations. Night Watch will then continue along the shoreline and will be viewable from Pier 15, adjacent to the Exploratorium, and then it will travel to Rincon Park where it will to stop at the shoreline in front of EPIC Steak / Waterbar Restaurant (7:45pm – 8:15pm) for programmed music by Classical Revolution.
 
More information about Night Watch
BOXBLUR and Immersive Arts Alliance are pleased to announce the co-production of Shimon Attie’s Night Watch, a floating media installation that will travel the San Francisco Bay from September 17- 19, 2021. Night Watch features video portraits on a 20ft-wide, hi-resolution LED screen which will travel along the Bay aboard a large, slow-moving barge to allow for on-shore public viewing. Displayed on the screen are silent, close-up video portraits of twelve refugees who were granted political asylum in the United States.
 
Night Watch will activate and animate the San Francisco Bay as both a literal and metaphoric site and landscape for escape, rescue, safe-passage, and the offering of safe-harbor for those most vulnerable. The artwork engages one of the most urgent issues of our time – that of welcoming or closing our doors to asylum seekers.”
 
Night Watch was originally presented by MoreArt.org in 2018. The project was met with critical success and covered in the New York Times and was further reviewed by myriad other publications and television news outlets. 


 

 

YiTing (Gama) Hsu & Hien Huynh photo by Robbie Sweeny

 

 


Saint Joseph’s Arts Foundation: Art and Social Justice

Saint Joseph’s Arts Foundation (ticketed)

  •   
  • Saint Joseph’s Art Society1401 Howard StreetSan Francisco, CA, 94103United States (map)

Evening | Speaker presentation for Shimon Attie’s Night Watch, featuring panelists in conversation about the role of art as an amplifier for social justice issues.  Pre-registration required. This event is open to the public, but with limited admittance! Address: 1401 Howard Street, San Francisco

St. Joseph’s Art Society is a supporter of and contributor to the SF premiere of Night Watch.

Panelists at this event:

Charith Premawardhana, Classical Revolution https://www.classicalrevolution.org/

Ana Teresa Fernandez, artist https://anateresafernandez.com/

Lenora Lee, Lenora Lee Dance http://www.lenoraleedance.com/

Judy Flannery (or) Randall Heath from Dance Film SF https://sfdancefilmfest.org/

Clark Suprynowicz (Immersive Arts Alliance)

Moderator, Catharine Clark (BOXBLUR)

Photograph of St. Joseph’s Art Society by Elizabeth Pianta.


CALL FOR BOSTON DANCERS – 2021 – 2022!

 

 

 

CALL FOR BOSTON 

DANCERS – 2021 – 2022!

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD), based in San Francisco, is seeking Boston based Male Asian/Asian American modern / contemporary dancers for “Convergent Waves” a series of 6 site-specific, immersive, multimedia performances in Boston in and around Pao Arts Center, April 21-24, 2022, with the possibility of touring in San Francisco June 1 – 9, 2022, Los Angeles and NYC in 2023.

LLD is looking for dancers with experience in choreography, improvisation, and collaboration. Rehearsals will begin in Boston January 2022, occurring one week per month almost every month, for approximately 20 hours each time through April 2022 shows. Below is a tentative draft of the schedule. All rehearsal and performance time is paid.

Those interested can email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com 

  • your cell phone number, 
  • a resume, 
  • your website, and 
  • up to four video links of dance pieces you have choreographed or are featured dancing in by August 21, 2021

Video call backs / Auditions will be in September 2021.

Call (‪415) 913-8725‬ for more information.

www.LenoraLeeDance.com

 

Potential Rehearsal & Performance Dates:

  • Rehearsals, approximately one week per month in January, February and March
  • April 8 – 20 – Rehearsals, Tech and Dress Rehearsals
  • April 21 – 24, 2022 – Boston premiere
  • May 31 – June 9, 2022 – San Francisco Rehearsals
  • June 9 2022 – tour – San Francisco Performance (Asian Art Museum)
  • Spring 2023 – LA tour
  • Fall 2023 – NYC tour

 

 

Background

“Convergent Waves” is a site-responsive, immersive, multimedia experience premiering in and around Pao Arts Center (Pao) in Boston April 21-24, 2022, with potential touring June 2022 – November 2023. LLD will transform Pao into an immersive site where the audience follows performers on an interactive journey that will feature 6 dancers, multimedia design, recorded original music, research, and voiceover interviews with activists and residents. 

 

Audiences are reoriented for a unique perspective that merges memory, contemporary reality, and social commentary. Walking through the building will be like walking through the interior of someone’s body with the idea of memory housed in the architectural blueprint of the building. 

 

Pao sits on a historically significant piece of land, Parcel 24, where hundreds of residents were displaced in the 1960s in order to build a highway on-ramp. The reclamation of this land by Pao represents a powerful call for community oriented development in the face of rapid change. The work, which celebrates the contributions of activists and non-profit leaders, will make a collective statement for the preservation of community as neighborhoods across the country inhabited for generations face displacement through gentrification. 

 

Supported in part by Pao Arts Center, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project and Expeditions Tour Planning Grant, ArtsEmerson and Generous Individuals. San Francisco performances supported in part by California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts

 

About the Company

For the last 13 years Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) has been pushing the envelope of intimate and large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement/dance, film, text, research and music to culture, history, and human rights issues. LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. At times crafted for the proscenium, or underwater, or in the air, and at times the pieces are site-responsive, immersive and interactive. Its work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement, and educational programming. 

 

LLD is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 23. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, a Visiting Scholar at New York University, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission, a 2019 United States Artists Fellow, and is currently an Artist in Residence at Pao Arts Center and ArtsEmerson.

 

Lenora Lee Dance creates multimedia and immersive dance performances connecting various styles of movement, music, and film to culture, history and human rights issues. www.LenoraLeeDance.com

 

 

dancers in photo: Johnny Nguyen, I.J. Chan, Naoko Brown, Flora Hyoin Kim 

 

 

 


SF’s Chinatown Block Party Aims to Bring Community Together

 

Performance of “And the Community Will Rise” excerpts 

as part of the “Ping Yuen-Peaceful Garden Summer Block Party”

 
Saturday, 7/17, 12:20pm
In front of 795 Pacific Street, (between Stockton & Grant), San Francisco
 
Lenora Lee Dance is thrilled to be participating in the “Ping Yuen-Peaceful Garden Summer Block Party”, an event promoting unity and solidarity within our communities, with an emphasis on our Black and Asian community.
 
The day’s events will take place from 11am – 3pm.
 
Chinatown Community Development Center celebrates the rainbow of cultures within the Ping Yuen Properties as well as provide a day of enrichment, showcasing cultural dancing, food, spoken word, performances, games, inviting pillars of the community such as Norman Fong, Mayor London Breed, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, UNITED PLAYAZ, Community Youth Center and the Street Violence Intervention Program. “Say it Loud, I’m Ping Yuen and I’m Proud,” embodies the spirit of what the “Peaceful Garden Summer Block Party” will emit into the Ping Yuen residents, Pride in Togetherness, Solidarity and Peace within our communities.
 

click here for the full SF Chronicle article 
click here for the full NBC article 
 
LLD is in the process of creating a dance film of “And the Community Will Rise”and will perform excerpts this Saturday, 7/17, 12:20pm.
 
This work explores Chinatown residents’ struggle for affordable housing and fighting for their rights as tenants and recent immigrants as well as the complexities of the multi-ethnic backgrounds of the tenants in the Ping Yuen complex. Timing is crucial as SF is witnessing growing displacement of its low-income residents, as neighborhoods inhabited for decades by generations of communities of color are facing gentrification and displacement.
 
Conceived, produced, directed by Lenora Lee
 
Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with dance artists / performers Clarissa Dyas, Anna Greenberg Gold, Lynn Huang, Amber Julian, Melissa Lewis, Megan Lowe, and Johnny Nguyen
 

Music directed by saxophonist Francis Wong, with rapper AK Black, guitarist Karl Evangelista, vocalist Helen Palma, percussionist Deszon X. Claiborne, Courtesy of Asian Improv Records. Additional vocals by Amber Julian.

 
Interviewees featured in the soundscore include: Norman Fong, former Mayor Ed Lee, Debra Brown, Sophia, Myrisha Mixon, Benson Toy.
 
And The Community Will Rise is supported by Chinatown Community Development Center, Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center. It is made possible in part by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a Kenneth Rainin Foundation Open Spaces Program grant, California Arts Council Creative California Communities grant, by Zellerbach Family Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and by Generous Individuals