Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Latest Updates

Within These Walls premieres 9/9 – 9/17/17 on Angel Island!

 

UPDATES:
 

PLEASE NOTE:

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

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

 
The last day to purchase the Admission + Roundtrip ferry package and Shuttle tickets for the 9/9 & 9/10 performances on our ticket site is Tuesday, 9/6!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/within-these-walls-tickets-36488901286
 
The last day to purchase the Admission + Roundtrip ferry package and Shuttle tickets for the 9/16 & 9/17 performances on our ticket site is Tuesday, 9/12!
 
After that you must purchase Admission Only tickets on our ticket site and stand in line at the Pier 39 / 41 Blue & Gold Fleet Box Office, or board the Tiburon Ferry to purchase ferry tickets separately. You may be able to purchase Shuttle tickets from our Angel Island dock Group Leader if they are still available.
 
On the day of the performance, those who purchased online the Admission + Roundtrip ferry tickets or Shuttle tickets – arrive early to meet our Pier 41 Group Leader wearing the Fluorescent Yellow vest here by the topographical map between Pier 39 & 41 to pick up your tickets.
 
If you need to buy ferry tickets on the day of the performance, arrive early to stand in line at the Blue & Gold Fleet Ticket Booth between Pier 39 & 41.
 
Once you have your ferry tickets go to Gate 1 or 2 at the Pier 41 dock to board for Angel Island.
 
CLICK HERE  for information about the Tiburon Ferry.
 
If you purchased Admission Only tickets and Shuttle tickets, and ride the Tiburon ferry, you can pick up your Shuttle tickets from our Angel Island dock Group Leader in the Fluorescent Yellow vest once the ferry arrives on the Island.
 

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Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America, and
Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation present

The World Premiere of

Within These Walls
A new multimedia immersive dance experience by Lenora Lee Dance

At the Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay

Saturdays & Sundays, 9/9, 9/10, 9/16 & 9/17
11am-12pm & 12:30-1:30pm

Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

Due to the nature of this performance with multiple dances and character narratives unfolding simultaneously throughout the Immigration Station, we recommend you see the performance more than once. It will never be the same experience twice! See ticket options for details on discounted tickets to see the performance twice in one day.


 

What The Press Is Saying About Within These Walls:

SF Chronicle: Immigrants’ torment as Angel Island detainees re-created in dance

 
SF Chronicle: A look back at immigration, exclusion at Angel Island
  SF Examiner: Angel Island a historical setting for Lenora Lee’s ‘Walls’

 
KQED Arts: Fall Dance Season Will Bring Political Fury to Bay Area Stages

 
There will also be free screenings of LLD’s recent dance films in the Immigration Station Mess Hall held simultaneously at 11am and 12:30pm for ticket holders. These films were created in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Tatsu Aoki. Come early or stay after the performance to see the films!

Those attending one of the 9/16 or 9/17 performances may be captured on film and are asked to sign a Release Form, as we are building an experimental dance film of the Within These Walls performance piece. If you prefer to not be captured on film, please attend one of the 9/9 or 9/10 performances.

Click here for Tickets, Transportation & Details

For more info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com

For questions or high resolution images, email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com, 415-816-9376

Please Note:
– Comfortable footwear is encouraged.
– Guests may encounter situations in close proximity with performers.
– We encourage guests with special needs to contact us prior to arrival at: LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com or (415) 816-9376

____________________________

 

Join us for the excursion and adventure!

CLICK on the blue “SELECT A DATE” button, then on the green “TICKETS” button to see PERFORMANCE ADMISSION + TRANSPORTATION DETAILS. Group rate available. Email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com to inquire.

SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTURES: Company: Blue and Gold Fleet

SUGGESTED TRANSPORTATION TIMES:

Outbound Angel Island Ferry Options

  • Departs Pier 41 at 9:45am, arrives on Angel Island at 10:10am
    • Ride the 10:30am shuttle to the Station
    • See either the 11am or 12:30pm performance
    • See the 11am or 12:30pm films in the Station Mess Hall
  • Departs Pier 41 at 11:15am, arrives on Angel Island at 11:45am
    • No shuttle available. You must walk 25-30 minutes or bike to the Station
    • See the 12:30pm performance after making your own way to the Station

Please check this website in August for updated ferry schedulehttp://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/ferry/angel-island/

Return to Pier 41 Ferry Options

  • Departs Angel Island at 2:05pm, arrives at Pier 41 at 2:55pm
  • Departs Angel Island at 4:25pm, arrives at Pier 41 at 5:30pm

Please check this website in August for updated ferry schedulehttp://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/ferry/angel-island/

TIBURON DEPARTURES: Company: Angel Island Tiburon Ferry

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

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

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

  • Departs promptly from the Angel Island Cafe at 10:30am
  • Departs Immigration Station 12:45pm and 3pm

Visit http://angelisland.com/usis/ for more info.

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

PARKING OPTIONS at Pier 41, San Francisco

  • Academy of Art parking lot on Beach & Stockton Streets ($30 all day)
  • 2210 Stockton St between Northpoint & Bay ($25 all day)

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

PARKING OPTIONS by Tiburon dock

Tiburon Parking information can be found online here:http://angelislandferry.com/parking-information/. Parking is between $5 and $15 for the day.

For more info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com, emailLenoraLeeDance@gmail.com, or call (415) 816-9376

 

 

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 10th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Within These Walls, a new site-specific immersive multimedia dance experience premiering in a two-week run 9/9 – 9/17/17 on the Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay. This work for 14 performers, integrating contemporary dance, video projection, recorded original music, and poetry, will serve as a meditation on healing, resilience, and compassion. Inspired by experiences of those detained and processed on the Station, Within These Walls will transform and animate these historic spaces into sites for remembrance, as part of a community-wide commemoration of the 135th Anniversary of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.

Audiences will travel through a labyrinth of rooms throughout the historic two story building in an intimate interactive environment, a tapestry of movement, sound, poetry and film integrated throughout the inside and outside of the building, and within the walls.

 

 

Conceived, produced & directed by Lenora Lee

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with performers Yao Dang, Lynn Huang, Timothy Huey, Hien Huynh, Carl Irons, Eric Koziol, SanSan Kwan, Wayne Tai Lee, Kevin Lo, Chloe Luo, Johnny Nguyen, Shannon Preto, Yi-Ting Hsu, Stacey Yuen

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

Poetry & text by Genny Lim, Wong Gung Jue, and Immigration Station detainees

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

Media Design by Olivia Ting

Videography directed by Lenora Lee
     filmed by Lenora Lee, Shannon Preto, Olivia Ting
     edited by Tatsu Aoki, Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting

 

 

LLD’s work integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families.

“We strive to generate artistic work that engages deeply the connections between individuals and their experiences, and community and collective memory, through creative processes, research, and public involvement.” – Lenora Lee

“What struck me most was how Lee managed to embed the narrative into the installation’s structure. So many different things were happening all at once and no one could predict what was going to occur, or when, or where… it shows how carefully Lee wove the narrative into everyone’s experience, including the viewer’s.” – Heather Desaulniers, Dance Commentary

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

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

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

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

 

 

 

LENORA LEE DANCE

The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 19 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, and was a Visiting Scholar at New York University 2012-2016. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater. LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and at the same time large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. For the last ten years, LLD has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history and human rights issues. Its work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement and educational programming. www.LenoraLeeDance.com

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

 

 

 

photos by Robbie Sweeny featuring:

  1. Johnny Nguyen
  2. Johnny Nguyen & Eric Koziol
  3. Lynn Huang, Eric Koziol, Yi-Ting Hsu
  4. Yao Dang, Yi-Ting Hsu, Stacey Yuen, Chloe Luo
  5. Kevin Lo, Johnny Nguyen, Hien Huynh, Wayne Tai Lee
  6. Kevin Lo & Stacey Yuen
  7. Johnny Nguyen & Chloe Luo
  8. Yao Dang, Stacey Yuen, Chloe Luo, Yi-Ting Hsu
  9. Hien Huynh & Lynn Huang
  10. Hien Huynh

 


Bay Area People – Lenora Lee Dance on KTVU Fox 2

Thanks to Claudine Wong & KTVU – http://www.ktvu.com/community/234120868-video

Join us for immersive performances of “Within These Walls” in the Angel Island Immigration Station barracks this August – September!


“LIGHT” film screenings!

 

 

LIGHT won Best Experimental Film at the Canada International Film Festival!

Click here for excerpts from LIGHT and an interview with producer / choreography director Lenora Lee 

 

 

 

CAAMFest 35 presents the World Premiere screening of the experimental narrative film
LIGHT (2017), 57 minutes
by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki

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

Saturday, 3/11, 7pm
Gray Area
2665 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Included in the program are live performances by Tatsu Aoki, Melody Takata and Lenora Lee Dance (Yao Dang, Yi-Ting Hsu, Lynn Huang, Wayne Tai Lee)

PAGES short experimental film by Tatsu Aoki & Melody Takata, 15 minutes (precedes LIGHT)
PAGES is a meditation on the emergence of Japanese modernist and experimentalist art movements.

Co-presented by Chinese Historical Society of America and Axis Dance Company

Click here for more info

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian Women United of Minnesota, Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women & Cornerstone
Invite You to the Twin Cities Premiere of LIGHT a Film by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki

Thursday, 4/6, 2017
Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
301 – 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455

2 Screenings: 3:30pm & 6:30pm
After each 57 minute screening, there will be a brief panel discussion with the filmmakers and a light reception to follow.

Click here for more info

Additional Event Partners:
University of Minnesota School of Social Work
University of Minnesota Asian American Studies Program
University of Minnesota Women’s Center
KC Fortune Cookie Factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Foundation for Asian American Independent Media presents
The Chicago Premiere screening of LIGHT
as part of the 22nd Annual Asian American Showcase

Included in the program is a short film The Detached with a special dance and music performance by Lenora Lee, Tatsu Aoki, Jamie Kempkers, and Jonathan Chen, along with a post-performance discussion.

Saturday, 4/8, 8pm
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N State Street
Chicago, IL 60601

Click here for more info
 

 

 

The Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Transnational Asian American Series at Columbia University present:
The New York Premiere film screening of LIGHT

Followed by talkback with Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki
Discussants: David Henry Hwang, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts in the Faculty of the Arts, Columbia University and
Karen Shimakawa, Associate Professor, Performance Studies, New York University

Tuesday, 4/11, 5pm
Casa Hispanica
Columbia University
612 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027

Organized by The Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Department of Music. Co-sponsored by the Department of Dance at Barnard College, the Center for Ethnomusicology, the Center for Jazz Studies, the Heyman Center for the Humanities, and the Society of Fellows for the Humanities.

Click here for more info

 

 

The DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon welcomes the Pacific Northwest Premiere of LIGHT

Included in the program is a special performance by and a talkback with Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki

Sunday, 4/23, 6pm
Bijou Art Cinemas
492 East 13th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401

Click here for more info

 

 

 

 

 

 

The San Francisco Dance Film Festival presents LIGHT Saturday, 10/21, 1:30pm at Brava Theater Studio, Mezzanine, 2781 24th Street, San Francisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Inspired by the life of Bessie M. Lee (1894 – 1955), who, after migrating to New York City, spent two years in indentured servitude, LIGHT is a film in which dance, memory, music and poetry collide in a visual and aural landscape; a meditation on women being propelled into the unknown by courage and faith to risk their lives and everything they have for freedom. In LIGHT, Aoki and Lee highlight the lives of women, including Bessie M. Lee, who through the resilience and triumph over unimaginable experiences, were grounding forces in the creation of the New York Chinatown community in the early 1900s.

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

BIOGRAPHIES

Tatsu Aoki (director and filmmaker) is a prolific artist, a filmmaker, composer, musician, educator, and a consummate bassist and shamisen lute player. Based in Chicago, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, ranging from traditional Japanese music, jazz, experimental, and creative music and producing experimental films.

Aoki was born in Tokyo in 1957 to Toyaki Moto, an artisan family proficient in Okiya, the tradition of working as booking and training agents for geisha in downtown Tokyo. At the age of four, Aoki became part of his family performance crew and received the essence of traditional Tokyo geisha cultural training and studies, which combine history with creativity. In the late 1960s, upon Tokyo’s economic and social decline and his grandmother’s passing, he shifted his training to American pop and experimental music. By the early 1970s, Aoki was active in Tokyo’s underground arts movement as a member of Gintenkai, an experimental ensemble that combined traditional music and new Western forms. At the same time he began working in small-gauge and experimental films, influenced by his biological father, who was a movie producer at Shintoho Studio.

In 1977, Aoki left Tokyo to study experimental filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is now adjunct associate professor in the Film, Video, and New Media Department, teaching film production and history. He has produced more than 30 experimental films and is one of the most in-demand performers of bass, shamisen, and taiko, appearing in over 90 recording projects. http://tatsuaoki.com/

Lenora Lee (producer, choreography director)
Lenora Lee has been a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, and producer for the past 19 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, and a Visiting Scholar at New York University through the Asian / Pacific / American Institute. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater.

For the last ten years she has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history, and human rights issues. Her work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation, and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement and educational programming. Lee 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.
www.LenoraLeeDance.com
_____________________________________________________________________________

CAST AND CREW

Conceived & Produced by Lenora Lee

Directed & Edited by Tatsu Aoki

Cinematography by Tatsu Aoki, Zhuoyun Chen, Joshua Chuck, Ben Estabrook, Eric Koziol, Heath Orchard, Joel Wanek

Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with the cast.
Main cast: Juliet Ante, Kara Davis, Marina Fukushima (playing Bessie M. Lee), Sebastian Grubb, Chin-chin Hsu, Yi-Ting Hsu, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai, Yukihiko Noda (playing Lawrence S. Lee), Olivia Ting

Additional Cast Members: Tatsu Aoki, Corey Chan, Ming Quan Chang, Xenia Chiu, Mike Kilo, Derek Lang, Alson Lee, JoAnn Lee, Lenora Lee, Aimee Liu, Jean Liu, Sophia Ma, Sophia Noda, Suiso Ogawa, Zhenzhen Qi, Francis Wong, Michele Wong, Ronald Wong, Jared Young, Alicia Yu

Music

*LIGHT soundtrack recordings by
Francis Wong saxophones, flute
Tatsu Aoki bass, taiko
Jonathan Chen violin, electronics
Min Xiao Fen pipa, vocals

*Opening, Arrival, Bessie’s Song, In the Classroom, Walking to the Opera, Escape, Crossing, In the Park, Grove

ESL from Reduction Live recording featuring Kioto Aoki, Tatsu Aoki, Megan Lee, Melody Takata, Edward Wilkerson

Kitchen & Wine Cellar from CD recording AIR 091 Miyumi Project Live 2015 featuring Kioto Aoki, Tatsu Aoki, Mwata Bowden, Coco Elysses, Jamie Kempkers, Avreeayl Ra, Edward Wilkerson

No Need to be Sad from CD recording AIR 089 Needs Are Met featuring Ari Brown and Francis Wong

Touch of Sand from CD recording AIR 088 Pages featuring Kioto Aoki, Melody Takata

All the above recordings are courtesy of Asian Improv Records.

Killing the Green Lion vignette music recorded for the LIGHT soundtrack, featuring Corey Chan, Mike Kilo, MaryEllen Kirkpatrick, Melvina Lee, courtesy of Kei Lun Martial Arts

Poetry & Voiceover – Genny Lim

Sound Engineers – Adam Diller, Karen Stackpole, Caleb Wilitz
Color Correction & Sound Design – Joel Wanek
Lighting – Mary McFadden (Killing the Green Lion vignette)
Costumes – Lenora and JoAnn Lee
Sculpture – “Dialog” by Roland Mayer at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program
Production Assistance – Libby Jones, Gerard Veronica Sese, Kenjo Hatta-Wong
Graphic Design – Olivia Ting
Photos – Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang, Heath Orchard
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Our deepest appreciation to Bessie M. Lee’s grandson, Larry Lee, for sharing so much of his family’s story, and to Larry Lee and Asian Women United of Minnesota for their generous support of this project.

Very special thanks to:

Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University
Asia Society
Asian Improv aRts
Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach
Asian Women Giving Circle
Asian Women’s Shelter
Asian Women United of Minnesota
California Arts Council
California Lawyers for the Arts
Career, Mobility, Partnership (formerly Chinatown Manpower Project, Inc.)
Chinese Historical Society of America
CREDO Mobile
Dance Mission Theater
DAE Advertising
de Young Museum
Djerassi Resident Artists Program
Donaldina Cameron House
Franklin Templeton
Generous Individuals
Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund
New York Asian Women’s Center
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Puffin Foundation
San Francisco Arts Commission
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
True Light Lutheran Church
UTAP Printing & Packaging
Zellerbach Family Foundation

Copyright 2017 Lenora Lee Productions, LLC

www.LenoraLeeDance.com


Purple Gums Performances in Southern California 2/23 – 2/25!

Purple Gums Brass Ensemble, with dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee

Brass ensemble Purple Gums, comprised of Bobby Bradford (cornet), William Roper (tuba) and Francis Wong (saxophones) performs a tasty gumbo of jazz, free improv, ragtime and classical. The trio’s role is to carry on the tradition of making music in the moment. Charts don’t exist. Rehearsals have never occurred. Ideas are generated and developed on the bandstand. Joining the ensemble is Lenora Lee (dancer/choreographer). The performances at UC Irvine are the opening of a Southern California mini-tour, in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the production company Asian Improv aRts, and dedicated to the memory of the late composer, pianist, shamisen performer, bandleader, community activist, and educator Glenn Horiuchi (1955 – 2000).

Sponsored by the Department of Asian American Studies and the Department of Music

Featuring:
Francis Wong, sax and winds
William Roper, tuba and low brass
Lenora Lee, dancer
Bobby Bradford, cornet

Thursday, 2/23, 7pm
Room 218, Music and Media Building
UC Irvine
Free admission
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Brass ensemble Purple Gums, comprised of Bobby Bradford (cornet), William Roper (tuba) and Francis Wong (saxophones) performs a tasty gumbo of jazz, free improv, ragtime and classical. The trio’s role is to carry on the tradition of making music in the moment. Charts don’t exist. Rehearsals have never occurred. Ideas are generated and developed on the bandstand. Joining the ensemble is Lenora Lee (dancer/choreographer) and taiko artist and dancer Melody Takata. The performance at UC Riverside are part of a Southern California mini-tour, in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the production company Asian Improv aRts, is also dedicated to the memory of the late composer, pianist, shamisen performer, bandleader, community activist, and educator Glenn Horiuchi (1955 – 2000).

Featuring:
Francis Wong, sax and winds
William Roper, tuba and low brass
Lenora Lee, dancer
Melody Takata, taiko
Bobby Bradford, cornet

Friday, 2/24, 12-2pm
The Barn
UC Riverside
900 University Ave, Riverside, California 92507

Photo: Lenora Lee, by Gabrielle Lurie, The Chronicle
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Musicians Francis Wong, Bobby Bradford, and William Roper, dancer/choreographers Lenora Lee and Melody Takata, will present an interdisciplinary concert in tribute to the late composer/instrumentalist Glenn Horiuchi and in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the production company Asian Improv aRts.

Click here for information on Glenn

Featuring:
Francis Wong, sax and winds
William Roper, tuba and low brass
Lenora Lee, dancer
Melody Takata, taiko
Bobby Bradford, cornet

Saturday, 2/25, 2-4pm
Far East Lounge
Little Tokyo
353 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Photo: Melody Takata, by Walter Wagner
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

About the artists:

Bobby Bradford (cornetist, trumpeter, and composer) took up cornet in 1949 and played with Leo Wright, Buster Smith, and John Hardee (1952), with Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy in Los Angeles (1953), and in air force bands. After belonging to the Ornette Coleman Quartet in New York (1961) he attended Huston-Tillotson College (BM 1963) and moved to Los Angeles (1964), where he formed the New Art Jazz Ensemble with John Carter. He taught elementary school (1966-71), lived and worked in England (1971), then rejoined Coleman’s group for a brief period in New York. From 1974 he taught at Pasadena City College and Pomona College, and from 1976 to 1978 belonged to the Little Big Horn workshop with Carter, Arthur Blythe, James Newton, and other free-jazz musicians. Bradford has performed most often with Carter; he has also appeared with David Murray Octet (1982-4), Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra (from 1982), John Steven’s Freebop (1986), and his own group Mo’tet. As a composer he has been influenced by the blues and the music of Coleman.

William Roper (tuba) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. He has received awards from the NEA, CA Arts Council, L.A. Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Brody Arts Fund, ArtMatters Inc., American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, Durfee Foundation and JUSFC. He has been a resident artist at Djerassi Artists Program – California, Oberfalzer Künstlerhaus – Bavaria, College of the Canyons – California and a Japan/US Friendship Association Creative Artist Fellow in Japan. He has fulfilled commissions from Dance L.A., the Gloria Newman Dance Theatre, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, SASSAS and the College of the Canyons Symphonic Band. His compositions have been performed by the California E.A.R. Unit, TaiHei Ensemble, Sounds New Ensemble, Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble, Cal Arts Cello Ensemble and others.

Few musicians are as accomplished as Francis Wong (Saxophone), considered one of “the great saxophonists of his generation” by the late jazz critic Phil Elwood. For over 30 years he has performed for audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe with such with such luminaries as Jon Jang, Tatsu Aoki, Genny Lim, William Roper, Bobby Bradford, and the late Glenn Horiuchi, Fred Anderson, and John Tchicai. Wong’s imaginative career straddles roles as varied as performing artist, youth mentor, composer, artistic director, community activist, nonprofit organization manager, consultant, music producer, and academic lecturer.

For the last ten years Lenora Lee (dancer/choreographer) has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history, and human rights issues. Her work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation, and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement and educational programming. Lee 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. She has been a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, and producer for the past 18 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum and a Djerassi Resident Artist. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater, and recently completed a newly commissioned work by Fort Mason Center in 2015.

Melody Takata has been performing in the traditional arts for over 25 years, from her upbringing in the Japanese American community of Los Angeles. She is founder and director of GenRyu Arts, established in 1995 as Gen Taiko and incorporated in 2008. She completed the ACTA master apprentice program for shamisen with Hideko Nakajima Sensei in 2003, and, in celebration of Gen Taiko’s 10th anniversary, the ACTA master apprentice program with 90 year-old Madame Fujima Kansuma. Takata has been one of the most significant collaborators for Tsukasa Taiko’s national expansion program.

 

A great article by LeRoy Downs about the 2/25 performance “Remembering Glenn Horiuchi”

The Theme is Love and Unity: Santa Monica High Jazz Ensemble, Purple Gums and Dianne Reeves


Day of Remembrance 2/19/17, 2pm

Bay Area Day of Remembrance 2017
75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066

FRAGILE FREEDOMS
Carrying the Light for Justice
Sunday, February 19, 2017, 2 – 4PM
AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres

Click here for the San Francisco Chronicle article

Photo: Lenora Lee, by Gabrielle Lurie, The Chronicle


CALL FOR DANCERS & THEATER ARTISTS!

Lenora Lee Dance is seeking male dancers and theater artists for a series of immersive performances on the Angel Island Immigration Station. Inspired by the experiences of those detained and processed there, Within These Walls will transform and animate these historic spaces into sites for remembrance, and will be the highlight of Lenora Lee Dance’s 10th Anniversary Season.

Shows on the Immigration Station will be in September 2017.  We will also do some filming there in September to create a full-length dance film from this project.

We are open to dancers of various movement backgrounds. Training in modern / contemporary dance, experience in choreography, improvisation, and collaboration are a plus.

Those interested can email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com or call (415) 816-9376 for more information, and to sign up for an audition rehearsal appointment.

www.LenoraLeeDance.com


“The Eye of Compassion” premiering 9/24 – 10/2/16 at Cameron House!

A beautiful article by John Wilkins of KQED on “The Eye of Compassion”

A nice write up in the Examiner by Leslie Katz! 

Nice plug on Hoodline for “The Eye of Compassion” by Nathan Falstreau

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

The World Premiere of “The Eye of Compassion”
A new multimedia immersive dance experience by Lenora Lee Dance

Saturdays, 9/24 & 10/1 – 7:30pm & 9pm
Sundays, 9/25 & 10/2 – 7:30pm 
Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.

Donaldina Cameron House
920 Sacramento St (between Powell & Stockton), SF, CA 94108
Parking available at the Portsmouth Square Plaza Garage. There will not be parking available at Cameron House.

Arts Patron: $35 in advance online, includes 6:45-7:15pm pre-performance reception (for 7:30pm show), and 10-10:30pm post-performance reception (for 9pm show)
General Admission: $20 in advance online. $25 at the door
Student rate: $15 in advance online. $20 at the door – Valid student ID required
Group rate available – while tickets last

Due to the intimate nature of the performance, there are a very limited number of tickets available per show. To ensure your space, purchase your tickets today.

Click Here for Tickets
For more info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com, email: LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com, 415-816-9376

 

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 9th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of The Eye of Compassion, a new site-specific multimedia immersive dance experience premiering in a two-week run 9/24 – 10/2/16 in San Francisco’s historic Donaldina Cameron House (CH). This work for six dancers will integrate contemporary dance, video projection, original music, and will serve as a meditation on healing, resilience, compassion and transformation, inspired by the work done at Cameron House over the years. It will feature a collage of vignettes, stories about, and interviews of people previously served in its programs, and also speak to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.

Audiences will travel through a labyrinth of rooms throughout the historic five story building in an intimate interactive environment, a tapestry of movement, sound and visual collage throughout the inside and outside of the building.

LLD’s work integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families.

“We strive to generate artistic work that engages deeply the connections between individuals and their experiences, and community and collective memory, through creative processes, research, and public involvement.” – Lenora Lee

What struck me most was how Lee managed to embed the narrative into the installation’s structure. So many different things were happening all at once and no one could predict what was going to occur, or when, or where… it shows how carefully Lee wove the narrative into everyone’s experience, including the viewer’s.” – Heather Desaulniers, Dance Commentary, 9/13/15

 

Conceived & directed by Lenora Lee
Choreography by Lenora Lee with performers Peter Cheng, Yao Dang, Christian Felix, Yi-Ting Hsu, SanSan Kwan, Chloe Luo
Music score by Francis Wong, Tatsu Aoki, Melody Takata, Kioto Aoki, Jonathan Chen, Ari Brown
Media Design by Lenora Lee
Cinematography directed by Tatsu Aoki and Lenora Lee,
          filmed by Ben Estabrook, Eric Koziol, Lenora Lee, Joel Wanek
Edited by Olivia Ting, Tatsu Aoki, Eric Koziol, and Lenora Lee

Additional artists on video: Corey Chan, James Q. Chan, Laurene Chan, Kara Davis, Kimberly Elliot, Raymond Fong, Chizuru Hamada, Karina Lee Howe, Kate Lee Howe, Chin-chin Hsu, Carl Irons, Wei-Shan Lai, Amy Lam, Lenora Lee, Yukihiko Noda, Melody Takata, Olivia Ting, Alisa Wong, Pamela Wong

Please Note:
– Comfortable footwear is encouraged.
– Coat, purse and bag check service is available and is highly recommended.
– Guests may encounter situations in close proximity with performers.
– We encourage guests with special needs to contact us prior to arrival at: LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com or (415) 816-9376

“The Eye of Compassion” is funded in part by San Francisco Arts Commission, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation, Fleishhacker Foundation, SF Grants for the Arts, Dance Mission Theater and by Generous Individuals. Special thanks to our Arts Patron Sponsor DAE Advertising and to our Community Circle Partners Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and OCA, San Mateo.

To find out how you can support this project, click here

 

BACKGROUND

Started as the Occidental Mission Home for Girls in 1874, the initial purpose of the work done at Donaldina Cameron House (CH) was to intervene on behalf of young, Asian, immigrant females who had become vulnerable upon arrival into the United States. From its founding to the 1930’s over 2,000 women and girls sought shelter or sought refuge in Chinatown at CH from forced labor and indentured servitude.

 

 

LENORA LEE DANCE

The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 18 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, and was a Visiting Scholar at New York University 2012-2016. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater. LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and at the same time large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. For the last nine years, LLD has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history & 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.

Photos by Robbie Sweeny and courtesy of Lenora Lee Dance

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“The Detached” experimental dance film is screening 7/23, 3:15pm!

“The Detached” (2014), 13:01 min
by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki

Screening Saturday, 7/23, 3:15pm at the Roxie Theater as part of the SF Frozen Film Festival!
Note: some films in the 3:15pm program contain adult content.

http://www.frozenfilmfestival.com/pages/lineup16.php

Conceived & Produced by Lenora Lee

Directed & Edited by Tatsu Aoki

Cinematography by Ben Estabrook, Eric Koziol, Olivia Ting, Joel Wanek

Choreography & Performance by Lenora Lee with Larissa Fong, Raymond Fong, Marina Fukushima, Chin-chin Hsu, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai, Yukihiko Noda

Music
De-Clime 2 from CD recording Jonathan Chen Orchestra Returns by Tatsu Aoki and Jonathan Chen.
DiStilled by Ari Brown, Tatsu Aoki, and Francis Wong.
Michi from CD recording Shadow to Shadow by Melody Takata and Tatsu Aoki.
Steel Toe from CD recording Actual Music by David Pavkovic and Tatsu Aoki.
Moving the Moment by Ari Brown, Tatsu Aoki, and Francis Wong.
All recordings are courtesy of Asian Improv Records.

Lighting – Harry Rubeck

Costumes – Lenora and JoAnn Lee

Painting – Corey Chan

Production Assistance – Tongjia Wang

Special thanks to Angel Island and the California State Parks

In association with production partners Lenora Lee Dance, Innocent Eyes and Lenses Films, and Asian Improv aRts

Copyright 2014 Lenora Lee Dance


“The Detached” 5/27, 3pm as part of Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival!

“The Detached” (2014), 13:01 min
by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki, in association with production partners Lenora Lee Dance, Innocent Eyes and Lenses Films, and Asian Improv aRts

Screening on Friday, 5/27, 3pm as part of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival!

Conceived & Produced by Lenora Lee

Directed & Edited by Tatsu Aoki

Cinematography by Ben Estabrook, Eric Koziol, Olivia Ting, Joel Wanek

Choreography & Performance by Lenora Lee with Larissa Fong, Raymond Fong, Marina Fukushima, Chin-chin Hsu, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai, Yukihiko Noda

Music
De-Clime 2 from CD recording Jonathan Chen Orchestra Returns by Tatsu Aoki and Jonathan Chen.
DiStilled by Ari Brown, Tatsu Aoki, and Francis Wong.
Michi from CD recording Shadow to Shadow by Melody Takata and Tatsu Aoki.
Steel Toe from CD recording Actual Music by David Pavkovic and Tatsu Aoki.
Moving the Moment by Ari Brown, Tatsu Aoki, and Francis Wong.
All recordings are courtesy of Asian Improv Records.

Lighting – Harry Rubeck

Costumes – Lenora and JoAnn Lee

Painting – Corey Chan

Production Assistance – Tongjia Wang

Special thanks to Angel Island and the California State Parks

In association with production partners Lenora Lee Dance, Innocent Eyes and Lenses Films, and Asian Improv aRts

Copyright 2014 Lenora Lee Dance


Take 5 – June 10, 2016, 5pm at ODC’s Mott Studio

Lenora Lee Dance is pleased to present a work-in-progress excerpt as part of the ODC Take 5 Series.

Take 5
June 10, 2016 at 5:00pm
Tickets $5 | Buy Tickets at the Door

Featured artists*: Lenora Lee, Katharine Hawthorne, Christy Funsch

Be a shareholder in the creative process. See works in progress from dance artists. Discuss what you saw, what resonated, and what sparked questions. Then, exercise your share to award an artist with 15 hours of free rehearsal time.
Program Subject to Change
LOCATION

ODC Theater
Mott Studio
3153 17th Street SF CA 94110
TICKETS
Buy Tickets at the Door
Tickets $5


Double Victory at Fort Point May 21-22, 1pm!



1 pm to 2:30 pm on Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22, 2016 
Fort Point National Historic Site
999 Marine Dr, SF 94129, under the South Side of the Golden Gate Bridge entrance

Admission free
Please arrive early to find parking. Click here for directions.

Featuring

Lenora Lee Dance – Yao Dang, Gama Hsu, Lenora Lee, Chloe Luo

Francis Wong Unit – Karl Evangelista on guitar, John-Carlos Perea on bass & flute, Karen Stackpole on gongs & drum set, Melody Takata on taiko, Francis Wong on saxophone, Yangqin Zhao on yangqin.

Visiting artists – William Roper (Los Angeles) on tuba, Michael Jamanis on violin (from Lancaster, PA) and Amanda Kemp (Sunday only) with spoken word (also from Lancaster)

Special guests – Kei Lun Martial Arts, and Okinawan music and lion dance by Wesley Ueunten and ensemble

Remarks by historian Connie Young Yu and SFSU Asian American Studies Professor Wesley Ueunten and other guests to follow Saturday’s performance. Please click here to RSVP for this post performance discussion. Seating is very limited.

Visit www.asianimprov.org,www.parksconservancy.org/nps100http://go.nps.gov/goga100, or email: lenora@asianimprov.org for more information.

Background

Many of us are familiar with how important World War II was in shaping our modern world and the heroism and sacrifice of what has been called “the greatest generation”. However, a lesser known story is how World War II was a  turning point for racial justice in the US. For Chinese Americans, it meant that an alliance between US and China would  finally repeal the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned Chinese from naturalization to U.S. Citizenship and restricted their immigration.

The heroic role that Japanese Americans played in WWII while their families were incarcerated in concentration camps in the US would also bring about important changes such as the repeal of the Alien Land Law barring non-citizens from purchasing land. More than the legislation, this era represented a moment that deeply empowered Asian Americans as well as other communities of color in the struggle for civil rights and racial equality.

It was the beginning of a new era of activism around issues such as the promised benefits to Filipino war veterans, to finally lifting of restrictive quotas on Asian immigration, to redress for the camps for Japanese Americans. In this spirit our intercultural collaboration of artists and organizations comes together to evoke remembrance and celebration of the sacrifices made and victories won in WWII, the defining event of our global society.

Called to Rise: Chinese Americans in CBI

Several stories from the World War II experience of Asian Americans have inspired the works to be performed at this event. One of these stories is the experience of Chinese Americans in the China Burma India (CBI) theater of the war. CBI operations were a critical part of the Allied strategy to supply the wartime Chinese government’s resistance to Japanese occupation. President Roosevelt had believed that the defense of China was key to the defense of America, making the alliance with China vital to the US war effort.

Composer Francis Wong and CHSA Historian Connie Young Yu share a connection to this historic chapter through Wong’s father George and late mother Noela Wong and Young Yu’s late father, Colonel John C. Young, a decorated U.S. Army Combat Liaison Officer (under General Joseph Stilwell) who among other duties, played a key role in the pivotal Battle of Mount Song.  Wong’s father George, a Chinese citizen at the time (as was Wong’s mother), served as a liaison with a U.S Foreign Economic Administration (FEA) team under the US State Department in Guizhou, working on transportation issues related to the Burma Road. Wong’s mother was civilian staff for the US Army transportation administration in Kunming in Yunnan Province.

A special educational mini-installation exploring this narrative produced by the Chinese Historical Society of America, Called to Rise: Chinese Americans in CBI will be on view May 6 – June 30, 2016 at the Fort Point Historic Site. The hours for the site are Friday – Sunday 10am – 5pm, Thursday – Tuesday 10am – 5pm starting end of May.

 
www.FrancisWong.net 
www.LenoraLeeDance.com
www.asianimprov.org 


Purple Gums Performance Saturday, 3/19, 2pm!

PURPLE GUMS PERFORMANCE
SATURDAY, MARCH 19th 2016, 2 PM
Tateuchi Auditorium, Sutter YWCA building
1830 Sutter Street, SF, CA 94115
Admission Free
Brass ensemble comprised of Bobby Bradford (cornet), William Roper (tuba) andFrancis Wong (saxophones), carrying on the tradition of making music in the moment. Expect a tasty gumbo of jazz, free improv, ragtime and classical. With special guests Lenora Lee (dancer/choreographer) and Genny Lim (poetry).
Asian Improv aRts is honored by the presence of such a significant artist, Bobby Bradford, to the history of the music.
Photos: Lenora Lee by Cody T Williams, and courtesy of Asian Improv aRts

SF Premiere Screening of “The Detached” 3/11, 10pm at the Roxie Theater!

CAAMFest 2016 presents the San Francisco premiere of
“The Detached” by Lenora Lee & Tatsu Aoki

as a part of its “Through the Looking Glass” shorts program

Filmed on Angel Island, the short experimental dance film “The Detached” is a collaboration between director Tatsu Aoki and dancer / producer Lenora Lee, in association with production partners Lenora Lee Dance, Innocent Eyes and Lenses Films, and Asian Improv aRts

Friday, March 11, 2016, 10pm
Roxie Theater
3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

http://caamfest.com/2016/shorts-programs/through-the-looking-glass/
General Admission: $14, Student/Seniors (65+)/Disabled: $13, CAAM Members: $12

The Detached

Conceived & Produced by Lenora Lee

Directed & Edited by Tatsu Aoki

Cinematography by Ben Estabrook, Eric Koziol, Olivia Ting, Joel Wanek

Choreography & Performance by Lenora Lee with Larissa Fong, Raymond Fong, Marina Fukushima, Chin-chin Hsu, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai, Yukihiko Noda

Music
De-Clime 2 from CD recording Jonathan Chen Orchestra Returns by Tatsu Aoki and Jonathan Chen.
DiStilled by Ari Brown, Tatsu Aoki, and Francis Wong.
Michi from CD recording Shadow to Shadow by Melody Takata and Tatsu Aoki.
Steel Toe from CD recording Actual Music by David Pavkovic and Tatsu Aoki.
Moving the Moment by Ari Brown, Tatsu Aoki, and Francis Wong.
All recordings are courtesy of Asian Improv Records.

Lighting – Harry Rubeck

Costumes – Lenora and JoAnn Lee

Painting – Corey Chan

Production Assistance – Tongjia Wang

Special thanks to Angel Island and the California State Parks

Above photo of Lenora Lee, by Robbie Sweeny

Chin-chin Hsu and Yukihiko Noda, photo courtesy of Lenora Lee Dance

Larissa Fong, Wei-Shan Lai, Chin-chin Hsu, and Lynn Huang, photo courtesy of Lenora Lee Dance


Thank you for your support!

There are no words to express how our cast of collaborators have been impacted by the creation and performance of “Fire of Freedom” in 2015.

Lenora Lee Dance is deeply grateful for your involvement and invites you to join us by making a contribution today!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Audience responses to “Fire of Freedom”:

“Sometimes we discuss these issues. Occasionally we delve deep into them. Most of the time we ignore the suffering of our veterans. This piece, unlike anything I’ve experienced put the audience in the thick of it all, as much as you can without experiencing it yourselves.”

“Beautiful, intense, emotionally-charged, surreal” “Haunting, enigmatic, provocative”

“A profoundly moving work long in coming.”

“Watching this piece after the 14th anniversary of 9/11, I was especially provoked to wonder what the true price of war is. Are we at war on terrorism or at war with ourselves? Thank you for embodying the words of our veterans. It is that much more powerful.”

Lenora Lee Dance embarked on a journey and dove deep into the construction of an immersive performance piece larger and more complex than anything we have ever created. The subject matter drove the work in a way that peeled back the superficial layer of what we each knew about war, and exposed the wounds of veterans, survivors, war, and its legacy. 

“The trauma that our war survivors must endure is almost entirely cloaked by a veil of heroism – missing the stress that must be addressed that our survivors carry always with them.”

“Then someone comes into the room. One’s touch. Let me connect with your eyes, with your heart. Let me see you.”

We have been seeking to share through these stories a sense of gratitude for life and our lived experiences, no matter how challenging or beautiful, we are here, not just surviving, but thriving. The power in sharing our truths is boundless and with your support, we can continue to envision the possibilities and bring them to life.

Your gift will directly impact:

  • The 2016 premiere of “Crossroads,” Part 2 in a trilogy examining the effects of war on resilience and transformation, serving as a meditation on healing and forgiveness.
  • The deepening of existing and creation of new collaborations with advocate and community organizations and educational institutions nationwide.
  • The 2016 premiere of the film “Light” a powerful and evocative story highlighting the lives of women, including Bessie M. Lee and Miriam Chou Jean, who were at the forefront of the early New York Chinatown community.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

In appreciation, respect, and community,

Lenora Lee

P.S. Just one gift can help take us all one more step forward!

A Very Special Thank You to All of the End of 2015 into 2016 Donors So Far

Jennifer Alonso-Garzee, Arlene Biala, Jeanette & Low Chan, Leslie & Bob Chan, Louisa & Arthur Chin, Philip Chin, Marjorie Chung, May & Wayne Chung, David Dea, Doreen Der-Mcleod, Larissa Fong, Raymond Fong, Shar & Al Hall, Perrine Hamel, Carolyn Hee, Ellie Hisama, Michael Holscher, Evelyn Huang, Pamela Jang & Keith Jew, Carl & Jackie Jew, Cindy Joe, Ed & Peggy Kam, Roberta Lee Kelly, Aileen Kim, Benjamin Kwan, SanSan Kwan, JJ Lara, Alson & JoAnn Lee, Gail Lee, Jenson & Winnie Lee, Larry Lee, Linda Lee & Harry Chuck, Shirley Lee, Dayton & Mary Wong Leong, Lianne & Terry Leong, Nancy Lim-Yee, Jean Liu & Terry Chea, George Louie, Larry & May Lui, Victoria Marks, Belinda Mekdara, Dora Ng, Nancy Ng, Gunthilde & Lew Perin, John Seto, Linda Shigio, David & Marcella Soohoo, Joel Wanek, Morrie & Evy Warshawski, Nancy Wong, Lillian Woo, Betty Foo Yamamoto, Jiro Yamamoto, Mei & George Yee, Connie Young Yu, Sandra Yuen

photos by Robbie Sweeny


Reflections on “Fire of Freedom” by Wan-Lin Lo

Reflections on “Fire of Freedom” by Wan-Lin Lo

Highly recommend to everyone who are interested in modern/contemporary dance. Even I, who wasn’t a big fan of the dance in general, had very good time watching the performance and enjoyed it a lot.

The story has three independent lines that went on simultaneously. Every line was about violence and healing, yet all took different shapes of the violence (such as war violence, domestic violence as the two examples). The audience may follow any dancer throughout the performance; the storyline I was following was focused on the war violence, where my friend Wei-Shan was a major character to lead the story.

The dance was beautiful. It’s so beautiful that the emotion was contagious and made my heart hurt. When the bomb in battlefields dropped on the foreign ground, it destroyed not only everything that the enemy ever owned, but also hit the inside of yourself, and people who are close to you. Violence, no matter how well it’s masked by the so-called justice, is just like any other things in the universe, that for it to happen, you need to offer something to exchange. And most of the time, the price is the inner peace, where we could always find ourselves comfortable no matter cold or warm, lone or lost, with hope or desperate. And when that comfort is gone, no medical help may work the wonder to heal the wound.

The team used a lot of multimedia work to bring in the background and tell the story. No words were said, but Wei-Shan and her “military colleague” used every movement of their bodies and facial expression, to drive the story forward. Maybe because we as the audience may choose which storyline we wanted to follow, the performance became part of the “reality” at that moment when watching the dancers danced. Thus, when they drank in the bar to numb the pain, when the violence took place, when the medicine failed the hope, I felt like I was there as well. The dancers were struggling with the post trauma thanks to the war violence, and the audience, by standing in the same room, were struggling with the hurt that the violence seeded and a sense of helpless that may echo how these war victims’ friends and family feel.

photo by Robbie Sweeny


The Rotunda Dance Series presents Lenora Lee Dance at SF City Hall!

Rotunda Dance Series

Friday, September 4, 2015, 12pm
San Francisco City Hall

Rotunda Dance Series: Lenora Lee Dance Presented by Dancers’ Group and World Arts West, in partnership with Grants for the Arts and San Francisco City Hall

Free Friday, September 4, 2015 12 Noon

San Francisco City Hall SAN FRANCISCO, CA—August 1, 2015—On Friday, September 4th, the Rotunda Dance Series presents Lenora Lee Dance in excerpts from its latest performance work, Fire of Freedom, a new multimedia immersive dance piece.

The performance of Fire of Freedom at City Hall is part of Lenora Lee Dance’s 8th Anniversary Season which continues with its premiere at the General’s Residence in Fort Mason Center September 10-20, in partnership with Fort Mason Center, Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, and the Chinese Historical Society of America. Lenora Lee Dance’s work integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families.

The high-profile Rotunda Dance Series brings many of the Bay Area’s most celebrated dance companies to San Francisco City Hall’s rotunda space for free monthly noon-time performances. The series is presented by Dancers’ Group and World Arts West in partnership with Grants for the Arts and San Francisco City Hall. Throughout 2015, the monthly Rotunda Dance Series celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The 1915 Exposition left a lasting imprint on the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in regards to world dance and music. It is only fitting that the highly visible Rotunda Dance Series use this historic anniversary to celebrate the past, present and future of dance in the Bay Area.

About Lenora Lee Dance (lenoraleedance.com)
For the last eight years, Lenora Lee Dance has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history and human rights issues. Its work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation, and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement and educational programming.

The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 17 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum and a Djerassi Resident Artist. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater, and is being commissioned by Fort Mason Center to create Fire of Freedom premiering this September 10-20.

Lenora Lee Dance 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.

About World Arts West (worldartswest.org)
For over three decades, World Arts West has supported and presented world dance artists throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The main presenting program of the organization is the nationally acclaimed San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, which presents over 100 distinct dance forms and thousands of local dancers who are sustaining and innovating within those forms. The organization works year round to advance cultural literacy and build bridges of cultural understanding.

About Dancers’ Group (dancersgroup.org)
Dancers’ Group promotes the visibility and viability of dance. Founded in 1982, we serve San Francisco Bay Area artists, the dance community and audiences through programs and services that are as collaborative and innovative as the creative process. As a hybrid dance service and presenting organization for the second largest dance community in the country, Dancers’ Group’s many programs help artists produce work, build audiences, and connect with their peers and the community.

The 2015 Rotunda Dance Series continues: Fri, Oct 2: Mary Sano and Her Duncan Dancers Fri, Nov 6: Nimely Pan African Dance Company Fri, Dec 4: Hālau ‘o Kawainuhi Visit dancersgroup.org/rotunda for more information.

Photos of Chin-chin Hsu, by Robbie Sweeny

Read the full press release


World Premiere of “Fire of Freedom” 9/10-9/20/15 at Fort Mason Center!

FMC logo Asian Improv Arts APICC_newlogo CHSA Museum

Fort Mason Center Presents in association with Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, and the Chinese Historical Society of America
present the World Premiere of

Fire of Freedom

a new site-specific multimedia immersive dance piece by Lenora Lee Dance

CLICK TO SEE FIRE OF FREEDOM PHOTOS, VIDEO, ARTICLES, REFLECTIONS, AUDIENCE FEEDBACK

Thursdays-Sundays, September 10-13 and 17-20, 2015, 8pm

Location: Fort Mason Center’s General’s Residence in the Upper Fort Mason area —
Enter at Franklin & Bay Streets. Turn right after the first Stop sign. Click here for a map.

Arts Patron: $30 includes reserved seating
General Admission: $16 in advance online, $20 at the door (fees apply)
Student rate: $12 in advance online, $16 at the door (fees apply) Valid student ID required
Group rate for 8 or more people: $10 each, must be purchased all together (in advance only)
Tickets: www.fortmason.org/boxoffice, (415) 345-7575
For questions, email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com

LLD celebrates its 8th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Fire of Freedom, a new multimedia immersive dance piece that explores cycles of violence and healing in the context of our increasingly challenging world. The work of Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families. Audiences will travel through a labyrinth of rooms throughout the three story General’s Residence in an intimate interactive environment, a tapestry of movement, sound and visual collage throughout the interior and exterior of the building.

“We strive to generate artistic work that engages deeply the connections between individuals and their experiences, and community and collective memory, through creative processes, research, and public involvement.” – Lenora Lee

“Fire of Freedom’s intrigue lies in its multi-modal exploration of violence and regeneration”, said Rich Hillis, Executive Director of the Fort Mason Center.  “The immersive experience created by Lenora Lee Dance is a powerful and moving journey through the lives of the unrepresented.”

conceived & directed by Lenora Lee
music by Francis Wong with Deszon Claiborne, Karen Stackpole, Tatsu Aoki
cinematography directed & editing by Tatsu Aoki, filmed by Ben Estabrook, Joel Wanek, Zhuoyun Chen
media design & editing by Olivia Ting
media programming by Ian Winters
set design by Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting, Karl Gillick
lighting design by Patty-Ann Farrell
text excerpts taken from Katinka Hooyer’s “Surplus Data”
sound engineers: Karen Stackpole, Caleb Willitz, Lenora Lee, Timmy Leong & Sound Innovations

choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with the following artists:
performing live: Nick Brentley, Christian Felix, Larissa Fong, Marina Fukushima, Chin-chin Hsu, Yi-Ting Hsu, Lynn Huang, SanSan Kwan, Wei-Shan Lai, Wayne Tai Lee, Tim Rubel, David Silpa
on video: Kelly Del Rosario, Raymond Fong, Mike Garabato, Jorge Hernandez, Jon Iiyama, Eric Jacobus, Rafael Janania, Ed Kahana, Yukihiko Noda, Lucas Okuma, Bo Speirs

Please Note:

  • Comfortable footwear is encouraged.
  • Coat, purse and bag check service is available for $2 and is highly recommended.
  • Guests may encounter situations in close proximity with performers.
  • We encourage guests with special needs to contact us prior to arrival at Boxoffice@fortmason.org or 415.345.7575.

• Parking for handicapped visitors displaying valid credentials is available near the General’s Residence or in any marked space at Fort Mason or Fort Mason Center at regular parking rates

• Event patrons arriving Monday through Friday after 6:00pm or any time on Saturday, Sunday or a holiday may park in appropriately marked parking spaces adjacent to the General’s Residence or Chapel per posted regulations.

• Under no circumstances may visitors use any parking adjacent to Fort Mason residences.

• Visitors are encouraged to park in the Fort Mason Center lot (space permitting and at prevailing rates) or on adjacent city streets per posted regulations. The Fort Mason Center lot is entered at Marina Blvd and Buchanan Streets (see link to map above). Visitors may walk back to the General’s Residence or Chapel either up the stairs or through the paths on the Great Meadow. The walking distance is about 1,800 feet and the elevation change is approximately 55 feet.

• Visitors who carpool may drop off patrons at the General’s Residence or Chapel and then remove vehicle to alternate parking site.

For the last eight years, LLD has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history & 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.

The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 17 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum and a Djerassi Resident Artist. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University and an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater. LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and at the same time large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength.

For more than 35 years Fort Mason Center has served as a unique destination in San Francisco, hosting arts and cultural events, organizations, and programs in a historic campus along San Francisco’s scenic northern waterfront. It is an extraordinary example of repurposing former military land and buildings for contemporary uses, including museums, performance spaces, and a vibrant schedule of art and cultural exhibitions and events. Each year the Fort Mason Center provides more than $2.2 million in grants to local arts groups like Embark Gallery.  With more than 1 million annual visitors, the Fort Mason Center is one of the highest attended arts and cultural organizations in the Bay Area. For more information, visit www.FortMason.org or call (415) 345-7530

Special thanks to the California Arts Council, Dance Mission Theater, Enshin Karate San Mateo Dojo, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Generous Individuals.

Arts Patron Corporate Sponsors: DAE Advertising, Portsmouth Square Parking Corporation. Arts Patron Community Sponsors: Donaldina Cameron House, Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Community Circle Partners: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Asian Women’s Shelter, Chinese Progressive Association, OCA San Mateo, Xavier Tsang

Photos by Robbie Sweeny. Postcard design by Olivia Ting

California Arts Council Kenneth Rainin Foundation SF Arts Commission Grants for the Arts Zellerbach

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Francis Wong & Tatsu Aoki with Lenora Lee – Wong Wei’s Gamble 5/30/15!

(Photo by Leon Sun)

Wong Wei’s Gamble is a new four movement musical work by Francis Wong that will feature the composer, shamisen performer Tatsu Aoki, dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee, bassist John-Carlos Perea, guitarist Karl Evangelista, Yangqin (hammered dulcimer) performer Yangqin Zhao, drums and gong performer Karen Stackpole, trapset drummer Deszon X. Claiborne. WWG will memorialize the story of Wong Wei, the composer’s grandfather, a professional jockey and business manager who dared to open up the International Racecourse of Tianjin in northern China during the Japanese occupation of World War II – the once active course had been closed by the occupiers – as a means to provide employment and entertainment for the city during this dark period. In a move that risked being labeled a “collaborator”.

Presented by San Francisco International Arts Festival, Asian Pacific Island Cultural Center and Asian Improv aRts

Tickets: $15-$30 General Admission and Reserved Seating

Get Tickets

About Francis Wong

Few musicians are as accomplished as Francis Wong (musical director / composer), considered one of “the great saxophonists of his generation” by the late jazz critic Phil Elwood. A prolific recording artist, Wong is featured on more than forty titles as a leader and sideman. For over two decades he has performed his innovative brand of jazz and creative music for audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe with such with such luminaries as Jon Jang, Tatsu Aoki, Genny Lim, William Roper, Bobby Bradford, James Newton, Joseph Jarman, Don Moye and the late Glenn Horiuchi, John Tchicai, and Fred Anderson.

WHEN
May 30, 2015 at 7pm – 8:30pm
WHERE
San Francisco International Arts Festival, Festival Central Bldg A Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94123
United States

“The Detached” film-in-progress screening & “Fire of Freedom” presentation!

CHSA is proud to present its third annual Joice Alley Celebration on May 2nd in collaboration with Cameron Carnival. This family friendly neighborhood event will feature many sights and sounds by familiar Asian American artists.

Saturday, 5/2/15 Schedule of events:

12pm dragon dance in Joice Alley by Kei Lun Martial Arts

12:30pm  Lenora Lee’s “The Detached” film-in-progress screening, with a presentation about upcoming “Fire of Freedom” at CHSA Museum

1pm Francis Wong Unit performing their first set at Cameron House Yard

1:30pm Charlie Chin will be entertaining us with songs at CHSA Museum

2pm Francis Wong Unit performing their final set at Cameron House Yard

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


Much gratitude to our end-of-the 2014 year into 2015 supporters!

We are deeply grateful for all of the generosity and support from the following individuals and organizations at the end of 2014 into 2015!

Jennifer Alonso-Garzee, Joyce Ashizawa-Yee & Bradley Yee, Arlene Biala, Jeanette & Low Chan, Patricia Chan, Louisa & Arthur Chin, Philip Chin, Calvin & Sharon Chinn, Carole Chinn-Morales, Linda Lee & Harry Chuck, Marjorie Chung, David Dea, Kimberly Elliot, Larissa Fong, Raymond Fong & Enshin Karate San Mateo Dojo,  Donald & Loretta Gibbs, Rosemary Gong, Ellie Hisama, Byron & Karen Ho, Michael Holscher, Karina Lee & Perry Howe, Evelyn Huang, Catherine Hung & Michael Derkacz, Carl & Jackie Jew, Victor Clark Joe, Zak Kong, Glenna Kurisu, Benjamin Kwan, Scott Lau, Alson & JoAnn Lee, Eunice & Gilbert Lee, Gail Lee, Kenneth Lee, Larry Lee, Winnie & Jenson Lee, Christina & Leonard Lew, David & Elizabeth Lew, Nancy Lim-Yee, George Louie, Larry & May Lui, Jean & Richard Lym, Victoria Marks, Christina Ng, Nancy Ng, Gunthilde & Lewis Perin, Eliza Perkins, Jeanne & Winchell Quock, John Seto, Linda Shigio, David & Marcella SooHoo, Van Tran, Xavier Tsang, Monica Tzeng, Morrie Warshawski, Jones Wong, Sandra & Kenneth Wong, Ruth Wu, Jiro Yamamoto, Rodney Yano, Junnie Yong, Connie Young Yu, Gary Yuen, Anonymous, Asian Women’s Shelter, Blackhawk Physical Therapy, Chinese Progressive Association, CREDO Mobile, DAE Advertising, Franklin Templeton, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Portsmouth Square Parking Corporation, Presbyterian Church in Chinatown, Ruby’s Place, UTAP Printing & Packaging.

Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University, Asian Women United of Minnesota, California Arts Council, Chinese Historical Society of America, Dance Mission Theater, Donaldina Cameron House, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, New York Asian Women’s Center, Puffin Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation

If you would like to support Lenora Lee Dance, CLICK HERE.

Lynn Huang, photo by Robbie Sweeny


Our 2015 “Fire of Freedom Fund”!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

As a wonderfully productive 2014 comes to a close, we would like to thank you immensely for your generosity. We would also like to share what 2015 has in store and ask for your continued commitment in support of our ongoing research, engagement with communities, and building of innovative artistic works through performance and film – all of which beckon a call for visibility, change and action.

You have the ability to initiate this change and envision the possibilities, which happens one step at a time, with one person at a time.

We invite you to step on board for this exciting 2015 season!

 –       The 2015 premiere of the “Fire of Freedom” project, a multimedia site-specific immersive dance theater project, associated engagement activities and discussions that will take place 9/10 – 9/20 as part of the Fort Mason Presents Series.

–        3/20 & 3/21 “Fire of Freedom” film/video shoots – footage to be projected in the Fort Mason shows.

–        The expansion of our research topics to include learning about the lives, experiences, health and well-being of military veterans.
–        The deepening of existing and creation of new collaborations and activities with advocate and community organizations, and educational institutions nationwide.

 “Fire of Freedom” Video Projection Mock-ups – actual video to be used will be filmed in 2015.


Ongoing contributions will also support:

 –        The creation and 2015 premiere of the film “Light” a powerful and evocative story highlighting the lives of women, including Bessie M. Lee (-b. 1894), who were at the forefront of the early New York Chinatown community, who through the resilience and triumph over unimaginable experiences, were grounding forces in the creation of this community.

–        The continuation of our youth arts education program at Cameron House.

 Thank you so very much for your generosity and support!

In respect, compassion, and community, Lenora

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

photo of Wayne Tai Lee & Lynn Huang


LLD featured on the PBS NewsHour!

Click here to see the PBS NewsHour feature of LLD by Joel Wanek

photo by Robbie Sweeny


Presidio Dialogues with Corey Chan and Lenora Lee 2/5/15, 7pm

Presidio Dialogues: “Reclaiming Our Chinese Heritage” with Corey Chan & Lenora Lee – 2/5/15, 7pm

photo by Robbie Sweeny


In Dance Article – September 2014

Click here to read the In Dance Article by Rob Taylor, featuring Lenora Lee