Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

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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.


Lenora Lee Dance 7th Anniversary Season 9/26 – 10/5!

Lenora Lee Dance 7th Anniversary Season

presented by Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center & Chinese Historical Society of America!

Join Lenora Lee Dance with Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, San Mateo Dojo for a two-week performance season of new and repertory works

Media design by Olivia Ting & Lenora Lee  /  Music score by Francis Wong with Tatsu Aoki, Jonathan Chen, Min Xiao Fen, Wayne Wallace, Genny Lim, Karen Stackpole, Kat Parra, and Corey Chan  /  Cinematography directed by Tatsu Aoki, filmed by Zhuoyun Chen, Joshua Chuck, Ben Estabrook, Eric Koziol, Heath Orchard, Joel Wanek. Edited by Olivia Ting and Tatsu Aoki  /  Text by Genny Lim  /  Lighting by Patty-Ann Farrell

Performed by Dale Chung, Larissa Fong, Raymond Fong, Marina Fukushima, Irene Hsiao, Chin-chin Hsu, Lynn Huang, Jon Iiyama, SanSan Kwan, Wei-Shan Lai, Lenora Lee, Yukihiko Noda, Kelly Del Rosario, Olivia Ting, Collin Wong, Ronald Wong

Program A:

Friday, 9/26, 8pm (a pre-show screening begins at 7:45pm)

Saturday, 9/27, 8pm (a pre-show screening begins at 7:45pm)

Sunday, 9/28, 3pm (a pre-show screening begins at 2:45pm)

 

Program B:

Friday, 10/3, 8pm (a pre-show screening begins at 7:45pm)

Saturday, 10/4, 8pm (a pre-show screening begins at 7:45pm)

Sunday, 10/5, 3pm (a pre-show screening begins at 2:45pm) – SOLD OUT

 

Program A: “Light” film-in-progress excerpts (2014-2015), “The Detached” (2014 premiere), “The Escape” (2013), “Reflections” (2011)

Program B: “Passages: For Lee Ping To” excerpts (2010), “The Detached” (2014 premiere), “Escape” film excerpts (2014-2015), “Rescued Memories: New York Stories” (2013)

Location: Dance Mission Theater – 3316 24th Street (at Mission), SF, CA  94110, http://www.dancemission.com/

Tickets: $15 advance online, $20 at the door, $30-50 arts & visionary supporters (includes VIP seating and invitation to special event), discount available for students and groups of 8 or more people. PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY, ALLOWING ENOUGH TIME TO FIND PARKING.

For tickets & info: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/796371www.LenoraLeeDance.com, email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com

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Supported in part by Asian Improv aRts, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, Donaldina Cameron House, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University, New York Asian Women’s Center, Asian Women United of Minnesota, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Asian Women’s Shelter, Generous Individuals, and New Stages for Dance II, administered by Dance / USA in partnership with Dancers’ Group. Leadership Support for the New Stages for Dance II Initiative is provided by MetLife Foundation. Lenora Lee Dance participates in Help Desk®, a Pentacle program providing infrastructure mentoring and support. (www.pentacle.org).

Special thanks to our:  Presenting Sponsor: Ruby’s Place, Corporate Sponsors: DAE, UTAP Printing , Community Partners: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Asian American Women Artists Association, Asian Women’s Shelter, Center for Asian American Media, Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinese Culture Center, Chinese Progressive Association, Donaldina Cameron House, Gum Moon Women’s Residence, Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Kai Ming Head Start, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Organization of Chinese Americas – San Mateo Chapter, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation. Much appreciation to Asian Contemporary Arts Consortium for including us in Asian Contemporary Arts Week 2014.

“Towing the line between live performance and cinematic splendor…” – Nirmala Nataraj, SFGate 2014

“Lee’s kaleidoscopic dance views can be visually arresting but it’s provocative storytelling around universal themes that forms the heart of many of her works…” – Mary Ellen Hunt, San Francisco Chronicle 2012

“I can’t think of any choreographer who has taken an approach as simultaneously intimate and large scale as Lenora Lee. In her work, the personal and the political intertwine inextricably.” – Rita Felciano, SF Bay Guardian 2012

   

Photos in Dance Mission Theater by Robbie Sweeny. Click here for more photo images


Introducing “LIGHT” a new film in progress

Dear Supporter,

On behalf of production partners Lenora Lee Dance, Innocent Eyes and Lenses Films, and Asian Improv aRts, I invite your participation in the creation of a new film by celebrated film director Tatsu Aoki and me entitled “Light”.  Inspired by the life of Bessie M. Lee (–b. 1894), 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 I will weave together this 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, who through the resilience and triumph over unimaginable experiences, were grounding forces in the creation of this community in the early 1900s. We would be honored if you would consider a contribution to the realization of this important project.

At the $1,000 donor level, you will help cover the costs of:

–        artist fees for the dancers and martial artists performing in the upcoming film shoots

At the $2,500 donor level, you will help cover the costs of:

–        the three cinematographers fees for the upcoming film shoots

–        the producer’s fee to organize

At the $5,000 donor level, you will help cover the costs of:

–        the director’s fee to design and direct the film shoots, work with cinematographers and editing personnel

At the $10,000 donor level, you will help cover the costs of:

–        post-production editing of the film

–        a color and sound correction specialist

–        graphic design for the packaging of the DVD and Soundtrack

–        costs of compression to DVD and Blu-ray

–        production of 100 film and soundtrack packages

You will receive credit in the film, verbal recognition at the screenings, and an advance copy of the DVD. Those donating at $5,000 and above will be named “Associate Producer” in the film credits.

You are contributing to a film that has impact on the arts, Asian American and human rights communities, pushing the relevance of this socially conscious work as a catalyst for generations to come. We look forward to your participation and are deeply grateful for your support!  – Lenora

“History matters in the work we do,” says Cindy Liou, staff attorney and coordinator of the Human Trafficking Project at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. “The narratives of people who are marginalized and exploited are important, and these issues are here and present. To have someone visually display with dance what people are going through is very powerful. Lee’s work lets people identify with what these women have had to go through, the psychological oppression and manipulation involved in trafficking as well as the physical.”

“Lee’s kaleidoscopic dance views can be visually arresting.”- Mary Ellen Hunt, San Francisco Chronicle 2012

“I can’t think of any choreographer who has taken an approach as simultaneously intimate and large scale as Lenora Lee. In her work, the personal and the political intertwine inextricably.”- Rita Felciano, San Francisco Bay Guardian 2012

Lenora Lee Dance is sponsored by Asian Improv aRts, a non-profit tax-exempt organization – EIN: 91-2063104. All donations are fully deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Contributions can be made by credit card here or by check. Please mail your check (payable to Asian Improv aRts), noting on the memo line “for Lenora Lee Dance/Light” sending with it this completed card to:

Lenora Lee, P.O. Box 22542, San Francisco, CA  94122

If you have questions or would like further information feel free to email LenoraLeeDance@gmail.com. Thank you so much for your support!


5/8 & 5/9 NYC Performances featured on the “Women’s Media Center Live” podcast

Much appreciation to Robin Morgan who featured our upcoming 5/8 & 5/9 NYC performances on her show “Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan” on CBS Radio. Click here to listen to the podcast.

Tune in now on WMC Live with Robin Morgan :: Robin‘s comments range from unsourced quotes to the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Anita Hill reveals new aspects of her famous testimony in a personal conversation with Robin. Julie Burton parses the 2014 Status of Women in Media Report from the Women’s Media Center, Lenora Lee on dance and Chinese history. :: Tune in on WMCLive.com, iTunes & CBS Radio.

New York Premiere May 8 & 9, 2014 at Asia Society!

The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University and Asia Society present

THE ESCAPE AND RESCUED MEMORIES: NEW YORK STORIES
By Lenora Lee Dance with Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, San Mateo Dojo

THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2014 · FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2014 · 8pm
Asia Society
725 Park Avenue

General Admission & Asia Society members: asiasociety.org/new-york/events/upcoming
A/P/A Institute members: www.apa.nyu.edu/events

Tickets: $15 general public, $10 Asia Society members, $12 students/seniors. Groups of 8 or more people can purchase at a discount. Email Lenora@asianimprov.org for group discount code. For tickets / info (212) 517-2742 or visit www.asiasociety.org/nyc

Directed by A/P/A Institute at NYU Visiting Scholar LENORA LEE, the interdisciplinary performance works The Escape Rescued Memories: New York Stories are engaging and heartfelt pieces in which dance, martial arts, film, text and music 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. Performed by an Asian American cast of 10 dancers and martial artists from San Francisco and New York City, these works utilize the interplay between live performance and film.

Through the cinematic recreations of actual experiences in key historic locations of San Francisco and New York City Chinatowns, overlaid with voiceover of first hand accounts, contracts and court documents found in the archives at Donaldina Cameron House and the Library of Congress, Lenora weaves together a powerful and evocative collage of stories highlighting the lives of women who were at the forefront of the early Chinatown communities, who through the resilience and triumph over unimaginable experiences, were grounding forces in the creation of these communities during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Rescued Memories: New York Stories retraces the life of Bessie M. Lee (Bessie You Toy-b. 1894), who, after migrating to New York City, spent two years in indentured servitude working for a wealthy Chinese family. The Escape is inspired by a girl who sought refuge from exploitation in San Francisco at Donaldina Cameron House, a faith-based social service agency that today continues to serve Asian communities living in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Click on the link below for video clips of both pieces:

These companion pieces detail stories of women who became vulnerable upon their arrival in the United States. They shed light on the experiences of these women 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. The works connect these experiences with today’s fabric of organizations and individuals that are on the front line of the contemporary struggle against the exploitation of women and children in our communities.

Featuring media design by Olivia Ting, videography directed by Tatsu Aoki, music score by Francis Wong, and text by Genny Lim. Performed by Juliet Ante, Kelly Del Rosario, Raymond Fong, Larissa Fong, Marina Fukushima, Chin-chin Hsu, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai, Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting.

Both evening’s performances will be followed by special conversations featuring the artists, community organizers, and scholars. On May 8, Karen Shimakawa (Chair, Performance Studies, NYU Tisch School of the Arts) moderates a post-performance conversation featuring Lenora Lee, Larry Lee (Executive Director, New York Asian Women’s Center), and Kaitlyn Keisel (Director, Polaris Project New Jersey).

On May 9, Dan Bacalzo (NYU Drama Department and Hunter College Asian American Studies Program) moderates a post-performance conversation featuring Lenora Lee, Purvi Shah (non-profit consultant, anti-violence advocate, and writer), Annie Fukushima (Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Associate, Women’s and Gender Studies and the Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University), and Song Kim (Kirkland and Ellis Fellow, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund).

Lee’s kaleidoscopic dance views can be visually arresting but it’s provocative storytelling around universal themes that forms the heart of many of her works, including her latest. – Mary Ellen Hunt, San Francisco Chronicle 2012

I can’t think of any choreographer who has taken an approach as simultaneously intimate and large scale as Lenora Lee. In her work, the personal and the political intertwine inextricably.– Rita Felciano, SF Bay Guardian 2012

Cultural History Meets Multimedia: Stories of Chinese Women Immigrants by Emily Wilson, featuring Cindy Liou of API Legal Outreach, poet Genny Lim, Lenora Lee

These pieces were created and premiered with support from Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University, Asia Society, Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Asian Women Giving Circle, California Arts Council, Cameron House, CA$H, a grants program administered by Theatre Bay ARea in partnership with Dancers’ Group, Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, de Young Museum, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Lighting Artists in Dance Award, Puffin Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, WKK Donor-Advised Fund of the San Francisco Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation and Generous Individuals. Special thanks to Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Asian Women’s Shelter, and New York Asian Women’s Center. Photo by Robbie Sweeny


Help us raise $10,000 in 30 days to support our 2014 programming!

DEAR FRIENDS,

Wishing you a very happy new year of the horse! 2013 was an explosive year for Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) with new commissioned performance works, dance film premieres, and creative engagement programs for youth and college students. Thanks to your generosity, LLD has reached over 11,000 people, collaborated with over 30 artists, and produced new large-scale performance works every year for the last 6 years with increasing visibility and relevance within the arts, Asian American and human rights communities.

In May we will be flying our cast of 9 out to perform in the NYC premiere of The Escape and Rescued Memories: NY Stories, which excavate the lives of early 20th century Chinese women migrants through dance, martial arts, film, text and music. The Escape is inspired by women who sought refuge from exploitation in San Francisco at Donaldina Cameron House. Rescued Memories: NY Stories retraces the life of Bessie M. Lee (b. 1894), who spent two years in indentured servitude after migrating to New York City. These pieces were commissioned and performed at the de Young Museum in 2013 and will premiere in New York City this May 8th & 9th, at Asia Society, co-presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University.

In addition to taking these performance works on tour, we will shoot more film footage, edit & premiere our 3rd film, based on Rescued Memories: NY Stories. And this coming September 26 – October 5th, we bring to you our 7th Annual Home Season performances at Dance Mission Theater, which will feature new & older works, expanding our season to a 2-week run from our previous 1-week set of fall performances.

With this growth we are taking on new and significantly greater financial challenges. YOU CAN BE PART OF THE TEAM BY HELPING US TO RAISE $10,000 IN 30 DAYS! 

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW 

Audiences have been deeply touched by both of these performance pieces. Please consider deepening your impact by increasing your contribution this year. Your gifts are instrumental in the vitality of this work.

A huge thanks to those who have donated this year so far!

With great love, respect and gratitude,

Lenora

P.S. Please help spread the word! http://igg.me/p/710739/x/6659452  

For information about the 5/8-5/9 NYC performances, click here

Photo of Lynn Huang, by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang

Upcoming Presentations in the Mid-west and East Coast 3/24 – 4/2!

Lenora Lee will be giving  the following presentations and workshops:

– Monday, March 24th, 7-9pm – New York University

– Tuesday, March 25th, 2:15-3:35pm – Rutgers University, New Jersey

– Wednesday, April 2nd – University of Wisconsin, Madison

For more information, please contact Lenora@asianimprov.org


Much Gratitude and Appreciation to our 2014 Donors and Supporters!

We are deeply grateful for all of the generosity and support from the following individuals and organizations in 2014!

Alson & JoAnn Lee, Carl & Jackie Jew, Catherine Hung, Chiayi Seetoo, Clinton Huey, Connie Young Yu, Cynthia Joe, David Dea, Derek Lang, Diane Ngo, Dora Ng, Douglas Hirai, Edward Kam, Evelyn Huang, Felicia Lowe, Francis Wong, Fred & Carolyn Hee, Genevieve Chan, Gunthilde & Lew Perin, Heidi & Anthony Wong, Isaac Kong, Jean Liu & Terry Chea, Jean & Dick Lym, Jeanette & Low Chan, Jeanne & Winchell Quock, Jennifer & Steve Gillette, Jill Shiraki & Wilbur Obata, Joan & George Louie, Joel Wanek, John Jung, John Seto, Joyce Ashizawa-Yee & Bradley Yee, Judith Wing, Judy & Clinton Gee, Keith Jew & Pamela Jang, Kenneth Lee, Kimberly Elliot, Larissa Fong, Larry Lee, Laura Hays, Leonard & Christina Lew, Leslie & Bob Chan, Lianne & Terrence Leong, Linda Lee & Harry Chuck, Linus Enriquez, Loretta Holscher, Louisa & Arthur Chin, Lynn Huang, Marina Fukushima, Mark Chung, Mary Wong Leong & Dayton Leong, May & Lawrence Lui, Melody Takata & Genryu Arts, Michael Holscher, Michael Takada, Morrie Warshawski, Olivia Ting, Patricia Chan, Phyllis Tom, Presbyterian Church in Chinatown, Raymond Fong & Enshin Karate San Mateo Dojo, Roberta Lee Kelly, Ruth Wu, Sandra Lee, Sandy Yuen, Stephen Rosen, Stuart Nakanishi, Susie Wong & Scott Barlow, Teddy Yoshikami, Thompson Lee, Tongjia Wang, Victor Joe, Wei-Shan Lai, Wendy & Michael Wong, Winnie & Jenson Lee, Yoonmi Choi, Annonymous Donors

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

Lenora Lee Dance participates in Help Desk®, a Pentacle program providing infrastructure mentoring and support. (www.pentacle.org).
New Stages for Dance II is administered by Dance/USA in partnership with Dancers’ Group. Leadership Support for the New Stages for Dance II Initiative is provided by MetLife Foundation.

Photo of dancer Wei-Shan Lai, by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang


The Making of “The Escape” & “Rescued Memories” 3/8/14, 1pm, & “Stories In Motion” Workshop 11am!

In recognition of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, join Lenora Lee, members of her collaborating team – Francis Wong and Raymond Fong, along with Cindy Liou, staff attorney and coordinator of the Human Trafficking Project at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach as they share about the artistic process, the stories, themes and issues involved in these two interdisciplinary performance pieces.

Conceived and directed by Artistic Director Lenora Lee during her Artist Fellowship at the de Young Museum, “The Escape” and “Rescued Memories: New York Stories” excavate the lives of early 20th century Chinese women migrants through dance, martial arts, film, text and music.

“The Escape” is inspired by stories of women who sought refuge in San Francisco’s Donaldina Cameron House, a faith-based social service agency that today continues to serve Asian communities living in San Francisco’s Chinatown. “Rescued Memories: New York Stories” retraces the life of Bessie M. Lee (–b. 1894), who spent two years in indentured servitude after migrating to New York City to work for a wealthy Chinese family. Photo by Robbie Sweeny.

Video of Lenora’s recent performance piece “Rescued Memories: New York Stories” (2013) at the de Young Museum.

FREE!!

Please RSVP for the 1pm presentation here:

Saturday, March 8, 2014, 1-2pm
Chinese Historical Society of America Museum
965 Clay Street (between Powell & Stockton), SF, CA 94108
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Consider joining us earlier in the day from 11am-1pm for the workshop “Stories in Motion” presented by Lenora Lee

Stories in Motion
A creative movement, writing, theater & video workshop

Enhance your imagination through a unique workshop offered on Saturday, March 8, 11-1pm. Come explore! Engage in a creative process filled with movement, writing, theater & video exercises as a means to develop stories through performance.

Lenora Lee Dance creates large-scale multimedia performance works integrating dance, original music, video, and text that connect various styles of movement and music to culture, history and human rights issues. Lenora has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 16 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 through the Asian/Pacific/American Institute.

FREE!!

Please dress in comfortable clothes and RSVP here:

If you have questions, please email Lenora@asianimprov.org.
For more information, click here


“Performing Art in the Digital Age” at Stanford University 2/11/14, 12pm

Join the Stanford University Institute for Diversity in the Arts for an artist talk with acclaimed Bay Area artists: dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee, musician/composer Francis Wong, and videographer Eric Koziol. Having recently collaborated on “The Escape” and “Rescued Memories: NY Stories”, both multidisciplinary works recently presented at the de Young Museum, the artists will discuss their interdisciplinary collaborative process and both the benefits and challenges of incorporating digital technologies and new media into the performing arts.

Open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, February 11, 12noon – 1:30pm

Stanford University
Roble Hall Theater
374 Santa Teresa St.
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone: 650.723.4402

Click here for more information.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny at the de Young Museum, 11/8/13


Women’s Media Center Podcast 12/14/13 on CBS radio!

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Saturday, 14 December 2013

Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan #63: Lenora Lee, Katharine Morrison, Rachel Moran. (Original Airdate: 12/14/2013)
Robin on the women behind Mandela’s greatness. Guests: Katharine Morrison, founder of the first full-service women’s health facility—a birthing center and abortion clinic; Lenora Lee’s art about trafficked Chinese women; and Rachel Moran exposes the reality of prostitution.

Click here to listen to the Podcast

Photo by Robbie Sweeny