Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Latest Updates

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


LLD featured in KQED Art School’s Elements of Dance

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE KQED Art School Video piece by Joel Wanek. Photo by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang.


LLD on the Cover of SF Weekly’s Fall Arts Preview!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SF WEEKLY FALL ARTS PREVIEW. Photo by Robbie Sweeny. Article by Irene Hsiao.


“The Detached” film-in-production screening at the Museum of Contemporary Art!

This Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, 6pm “The Detached” a film-in-production by Tatsu Aoki & Lenora Lee Dance will be screened in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art! The evening will also feature several of Tatsu’s other films.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


Lenora Lee Dance is featured today on KQED’s Art School!

Lenora Lee Dance is featured today on KQED’s Art School! Thanks so much to Joel Wanek for including us in this episode.

Come see our Fall performances at Dance Mission Theater 9/26 – 10/5! 

With Olivia Ting, Francis Wong, Tatsu Aoki, Marina Fukushima, Chinchin Hsu, Kelly Del Rosario, Raymond Fong, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai, Corey Chan, Larissa Fong, Yukihiko Noda, Chia.Yi Seetoo, SanSan Kwan.


Bay Area Now 7 Performance Festival at YBCA – Thursday, 8/7, 8pm!

As part of the Area Now 7 Performance Festival Thu-Sun, Aug 7-10 at the YBCA Forum, Lenora Lee Dance is proud to be sharing an evening with Sheldon Brown – Jazz Ensemble, Rico Pabon – Spoken Word/Hip Hop, and Tania Santiago, Folkloric and Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Dance. Pushing beyond the boundaries of the performance stage towards a multidisciplinary celebration of some of the most exciting artistic voices in the Bay Area today.

Thursday, August 7th, 8pm – ROOT CAUSES –

For tickets and information: http://ybca.org/ban7-performance-festival-thu 

More information about the festival: http://ybca.org/ban7-performance-festival

 

Sheldon Brown, Jazz Ensemble

Composer and reed instrumentalist Sheldon Brown performs compositions derived from the speech melodies of American surrealist poets Andrew Joron, Ivan Arguelles, Will Alexander, and Philip Lamantia reading from their work.

 

Rico Pabón, Spoken Word/Hip Hop

Excerpt from Father’s Day, his first traditional hip-hop record, written and recorded since becoming a father of three, which has reinvigorated a sense of hope and urgency to find sustainable solutions to humanity’s many environmental, political, and social problems.

 

Lenora Lee Dance, Multimedia, Contemporary Dance

Rescued Memories: New York Stories (excerpts) retraces the life of Bessie M. Lee (b. 1894) who spent two years in indentured servitude after migrating to New York City. The piece sheds light on the experiences of Bessie in the context of the social history for Chinese in America as well as in the struggles and achievements of the 20th Century Women’s Movement. Featuring Lenora Lee Dance, Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, San Mateo Dojo, with music score by Francis Wong, text by Genny Lim, video directed by Tatsu Aoki, and edited by Olivia Ting and Tatsu Aoki. Conceived and directed by Lenora Lee. Performed by Larissa Fong, Marina Fukushima (playing Bessie M. Lee), Chin-chin Hsu, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai, Lenora Lee, Kelly Del Rosario (playing Lawrence S. Lee), Olivia Ting. Photo by Robbie Sweeny

 

Tania Santiago, Folkloric and Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Dance

Tania Santiago intertwines Capoeira, a martial art that is one of Brazil’s most enduring cultural symbols rooted in the historical and political struggles of the African Diaspora, with folkloric and contemporary Afro-Brazilian dance inspired by the spiritual Candomblé family, the Orixas, to tell a deeper story of these cultural gifts created by the Afro-Brazilian community for almost two centuries. The piece brings together dancers, Capoeiristas, and live drumming to create a full portrait of these amazing, physical art forms.