Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Latest Updates

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


Film Screening of “The Escape” 12/17/13, 6pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art

In conjunction with Taiko Legacy 10 (at MCA Stage Dec 21–22), director Tatsu Aoki introduces his dance film created in collaboration with choreographer Lenora Lee. Shot on location, including at Donaldina Cameron House in Chinatown, San Francisco, The Escape conjures Cameron House’s start in 1874 as the Mission Home for Girls. Until the 1930s Cameron House assisted over 2,000 women who sought shelter, education, and opportunities, or sought refuge from forced domestic labor or servitude. Original music by Francis Wong, Tatsu Aoki, and Jonathan Chen.

Tatsu Aoki Escape, 2012; 28 minutes

Click here for details

Photo by Robbie Sweeny


“Reflections” as part of the En Route Dance Film Festival 12/8 – 12/14/13!

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We are honored to have the “Reflections” film be included as part of the En Route Dance Film Festival this 12/7 – 12/14/13!
Please click here for details!


San Francisco Dance Film Festival presents “REFLECTIONS” 9/14, 6:30pm!

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San Francisco Dance Film Festival presents

REFLECTIONS

A Short Film inspired by an interdisciplinary performance piece of the same name, Reflections addresses the struggle for dominance and survival.

by Lenora Lee & Olivia Ting
featuring Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, SSF Dojo
as part of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival Screendance Shorts IV

Saturday, September 14th, 6:30pm
Delancey Screening Room
600 The Embarcadero at Brannan
San Francisco, CA 94107

For tickets & more info: www.sfdancefilmfest.org, www.LenoraLeeDance.com


Don’t miss the premiere of “The Escape” and “Rescued Memories: New York Stories” 11/8 & 11/9!

The de Young Museum in collaboration with Asian Improv aRts, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, and Donaldina Cameron House present the premiere of “The Escape” and “Rescued Memories: New York Stories” 11/8 & 11/9 at the de Young Museum!

These two new interdisciplinary works are companion pieces inspired by stories of women who had become vulnerable upon arrival into the U.S. during the early 20th Century.  They seek to shed light on the experiences of these women in the context of the social history of the period for Chinese in America as well as for women in the society as a whole with the struggles and achievements of the 20th Century Women’s Movement, which took on such issues as child labor and human trafficking.

By Lenora Lee Dance in collaboration with Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo, featuring media design by Olivia Ting, music by Francis Wong, text by poet Genny Lim, lighting by Patty-Ann Farrell, and videography directed by Tatsu Aoki, filmed by Ben Estabrook, Eric Koziol, Heath Orchard, Joel Wanek, Zhuoyun Chen, and Joshua Chuck. Performed by Larissa Fong, Raymond Fong, Marina Fukushima, Chin-chin Hsu, Lynn Huang, SanSan Kwan, Wei-Shan Lai, Lenora Lee, Yukihiko Noda, Chia-Yi Seetoo, and the dragon dancers of Kei Lun Martial Arts.

 

Friday, November 8, as part of Friday Nights at the de Young

 6:00 pm and 7:15 pm | Piazzoni Murals Room

Film Screening: The Escape (2013, 30 min.) by Tatsu Aoki

 6:30 – 8:30 pm | Wilsey Court

Live Music by Francis Wong’s Trio SF performing jazz and creative music.

 7:00-8:15 pm | Koret Auditorium

Performance: The Escape and Rescued Memories: New York Stories. Tickets are required.*

 

Saturday, November 9

8:00-9:15 pm | Koret Auditorium and Wilsey Court

Performance: The Escape and Rescued Memories: New York Stories. Tickets are required.*

 

de Young Museum

Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, SF 94118

*Events are free and take place at the de Young Museum unless otherwise stated. Tickets for The Escape and Rescued Memories: New York Stories are $15 general/$10 museum members and can be purchased at https://tickets.famsf.org/public/ • available starting October 1st!  Space is limited.

For info: www.deyoungmuseum.org/artistfellows • email Lenora@asianimprov.org

The Escape & Rescued Memories: NY Stories are part of the de Young Artist Fellows project, which has been generously funded by the James Irvine Foundation’s Innovation Fund & the Institute of Museum and Library Services/Museums for America. Also supported by Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, WKK Donor-Advised Fund San Francisco Foundation, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University, Puffin Foundation, Lighting Artists in Dance Award a program of Dancers’ Group, CA$H a program of Theatre Bay Area in partnership with Dancers’ Group, and Individuals. Community Partners include Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Asian Women’s Shelter, Dancers’ Group, New York Asian Women’s Center, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women.

The works will make their New York City premiere May 8 & 9, 2014 at Asia Society, co-presented by A/P/A Institute at NYU and Asia Society.


Much appreciation to all of those who have contributed this year…

A very special thanks to those who have contributed to the online campaign! We couldn’t have reached our goal without you…

Stella Adelman, Anne Bluethenthal, Elaine Chan-Scherer, James Q. Chan, Katie Chan, Leslie & Bob Chan, Sherman Chan, Demetria & Conant Chi, Louisa & Arthur Chin, Yoonmi Choi, Jennifer Chu, Christopher Chua, Jane & John Chung, Marjorie H Chung, David Dea, Doreen Der-McCleod, Grant Din, Sumio Enomoto, Linus Enriquez, Bonnie Fimbres, Larissa Fong, Raymond Fong, Shar & Al Hall, John Ho, Michael Holscher, Clinton Huey, Catherine Hung, Jonathan Iiyama, Glenda & Chris Jeong, Cynthia Joe, John Jung, Ed Kam, Derek Kim, Margot Knight, Masaru Koga, Wei-Shan Lai, Amy Lam, Derek Lang, Alson & JoAnn Lee, David & Kathy Lee, Karina Lee & Perry Howe, Kenneth Lee, Larry Lee, Shirley Lee, Judith Leff, Mary & Dayton Leong, Wendy Leung, Hanmin Liu & Jennifer Mei, Jean Liu, Jonathon & Janet Low, Linda Lucero, Audrey Lum, Mary McFadden, Belinda Mekdara, M Emily Onglatco, Alleluia Panis, Vinay Patel, Amoena & James Quan, Jeanne & Winchell Quock, Chia-Yi Seetoo, John Seto, Katherine Seto, Sabrina Gee Shin, David & Marcella Soohoo, Melody Takata / GenRyu Arts, Tisha, Van Tran, Michele & Binh Tran, Joel Wanek, Ben Wong, Francis Wong, Jones Wong, Bradford Woo, Joanne & Jerrick Woo, Lillian Woo, Michelle & Steven Ureta, Alisa Yee, Dot Yee, Le Yoeun, Connie Young Yu, Joanne & David Yu, Anonymous Donors

Much appreciation to those who have supported us earlier this year!

Jeanette & Low Chan, Leslie & Bob Chan, Mark Chung, Laura Hays, Mildred Hall, Michael Holscher, Phyllis Huey Tom, Jeanette Huie, Keith Jew & Pamela Jang, Cynthia Joe, Victor Clark Joe, Derek Lang, Larry Lee, Linda Lee & Harry Chuck, Thompson Lee, Winnie & Jenson Lee, Lianne & Terry Leong, Mary & Dayton Leong, Christina & Leonard Lew, Jean Liu & Terry Chea, May & Lawrence Lui, Jean & Richard Lym, Joan & George Louie, Victoria Marks, Jill Shiraki & Wilbur Obata, Benson Toy, Joanne & Jerrick Woo, Joyce Ashizawa-Yee & Bradley Yee, Sandra Yuen


7 DAYS LEFT… You can help us reach our goal before June 28th!

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June 21, 2013

Dear Friends,

My deepest gratitude to the 57 donors who have contributed to the campaign so far helping us raise $5,375 online plus $1,325 through checks!

THERE ARE ONLY 7 DAYS LEFT TO RAISE $2,625

for Phase 2 of the “Rescued Memories: New York Stories” project!

We will be going to NYC in next month to film scenes in NYC Chinatown with dancers Marina Fukushima, Wei-Shan Lai, Lynn Huang, Juliet Ante, Chin-chin Hsu, Yi-Ting Hsu, martial artist Yukihiko Noda, and media designer Olivia Ting. We will also record the music for this piece with Francis Wong, NY artists Min Xiao-Fen, and Jonathan Chen and Chicago artist Tatsu Aoki. The project will premiere at the de Young Museum November 8 & 9 and in NYC spring 2014!!

Please consider supporting the project and the team of over 20 artists and collaborators involved in creating this work.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW

In gratitude,

Lenora

www.LenoraLeeDance.com

A very special thanks to those who have contributed to this online campaign so far!

Anne Bluethenthal, Elaine Chan-Scherer, James Q. Chan, Katie Chan, Leslie & Bob Chan, Demetria & Conant Chi, Louisa & Arthur Chin, David Dea, Doreen Der-McCleod, Grant Din, Sumio Enomoto, Linus Enriquez, Bonnie Fimbres, Raymond Fong, Shar & Al Hall, John Ho, Clinton Huey, Glenda & Chris Jeong, John Jung, Derek Kim, Margot Knight, Masaru Koga, Wei-Shan Lai, Derek Lang, Alson & JoAnn Lee, Karina Lee & Perry Howe, Lamam2, Mary & Dayton Leong, Wendy Leung, Hanmin Liu & Jennifer Mei, Linda Lucero, Mary McFadden, Belinda Mekdara, Amoena & James Quan, Jeanne & Winchell Quock, Chia-Yi Seetoo, John Seto, Katherine Seto, Melody Takata / GenRyu Arts, Michele & BinhTran, Ben Wong, Francis Wong, Jones Wong, Bradford Woo, Joanne & Jerrick Woo, Michelle & Steven Ureta, Alisa Yee, Le Yoeun, Connie Young Yu, Joanne & David Yu, Anonymous Donors

Much appreciation to those who have supported us earlier this year!

Jeanette & Low Chan, Leslie & Bob Chan, Mark Chung, Laura Hays, Mildred Hall, Michael Holscher, Phyllis Huey Tom, Jeanette Huie, Keith Jew & Pamela Jang, Cynthia Joe, Victor Clark Joe, Derek Lang, Larry Lee, Linda Lee & Harry Chuck, Thompson Lee, Winnie & Jenson Lee, Lianne & Terry Leong, Mary & Dayton Leong, Christina & Leonard Lew, Jean Liu & Terry Chea, May & Lawrence Lui, Jean & Richard Lym, Joan & George Louie, Victoria Marks, Jill Shiraki & Wilbur Obata, Benson Toy, Joanne & Jerrick Woo, Joyce Ashizawa-Yee & Bradley Yee, Sandra Yuen

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DON’T WAIT… GET INVOLVED BEFORE June 28, 2013!

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Dear Friends,

We are in the process of creating a new interdisciplinary performance piece “Rescued Memories: New York Stories” which will premiere along with its companion piece “The Escape” November 8 & 9 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and in New York City Spring 2014. It is inspired by stories of women who sought refuge from human trafficking in the early 20th Century in New York City’s Chinatown, shedding light on the experiences of women in the context of the struggles and achievements of the 20th Century Women’s Movement. The project will connect these experiences with today’s fabric of organizations & individuals that are on the front line of the contemporary struggle against the exploitation of women in our communities.

YOU CAN BE PART OF THE TEAM

As part of this project, we will be flying 12 dancers, collaborating artists, and crew to New York City this July to take part in a music recording for the piece and a week of film shoots in key historic locations within Manhattan Chinatown. The site-specific video mapped and projected on various surfaces during the premiere performances plays a crucial part in the sharing of these stories.

WE ARE TRYING TO RAISE $8,000 IN 30 DAYS AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!

I am here to ask for your support in creating these projects as our scale and scope become larger and more integrated into various communities and venues throughout the country.

WE ARE IN CRITICAL NEED OF FUNDING to create this new interdisciplinary work in which dance, martial arts, multi-screen video projection, text & music collide in a visual and aural landscape, a meditation on one woman being propelled into the unknown by courage and faith to risk her life and everything she has for freedom.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP

Audiences have been deeply touched by “The Escape”. We hope to bring forth more compelling stories and information to you through “Rescued Memories: New York Stories”.

We are greatly appreciative of your generosity and for being part of the team.

Please help us spread the word.

In gratitude,

Lenora


Thank you!

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March 29, 2013

Dear Friends,

It is with my deepest appreciation that I thank you for your gracious support.  We are writing to ask you to consider contributing to our 6th Anniversary Spring and Fall Seasons at the de Young Museum as we reach new and broader audiences with our work!

“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

This year in San Francisco we will share two large-scale interdisciplinary works created with Kei Lun Martial Arts and Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo, “The Escape”and “Rescued Memories: New York Stories”. Both are companion pieces inspired by stories of women who had become vulnerable upon arrival into the U.S. during the early 20th Century.

These projects seek to shed light on the experiences of these women in the context of the social history of the period for Chinese in America as well as for women in the society as a whole with the struggles and achievements of the 20th Century Women’s Movement, which took on such issues as child labor and human trafficking. They are commissioned works to be performed at the de Young Museum May 17th (“The Escape” & a new work by Francis Wong) and November 8th & 9th (both pieces) as part of their 2013 Artist Fellows program.

I have been conducting both historical and current day research for these works through the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, Cameron House, Asian Women’s Shelter, API Legal Outreach, the A/P/A Institute at NYU, and New York Asian Women’s Center, among other organizations. Stories of determination and courage in addition to the generosity of staff and advocates have been truly inspiring and humbling.

“Lee’s kaleidoscopic dance views on the Asian American experience can be visually arresting – her 2010 “Passages: For Lee Ping To” was nominated for an Izzie Award for its design – 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

Your support is invaluable and plays a critical role in realizing the development and sharing of this work in presentations and performances! You allow for people to witness history coming to life, in honoring the past and understanding how it impacts the present, so that we may have an empowered perspective in shaping our future.

Please consider contributing to the growth and expansion of this work and of our year round programming.  We are ever so grateful for your support and generosity.

With much appreciation,

Lenora

GETTING INVOLVED

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

To contribute, please visit

(“Donate”, Designate Purpose – “For Lenora Lee Dance”)

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS FOR THEIR SUPPORT!

Jeanette & Low Chan, Mark Chung, Mildred Hall, Laura Hays, Michael Holscher, Jeanette Huie, Pamela Jang & Keith Jew, Victor Clark Joe, Derek Lang, Alson & JoAnn Lee, Karina Lee & Perry Howe, Larry Lee, Linda Lee & Harry Chuck, Lianne & Terry Leong, Mary & Dayton Leong, Christina & Leonard Lew, Joan & George Louie, Jean Liu & Terry Chea, May & Larry Lui, Jean & Richard Lym, Victoria Marks, Jill Shiraki & Wilbur Obata, Phyllis Huey Tom, Joanne & Jerrick Woo, Joyce Ashizawa-Yee & Bradley Yee, Sandra Yuen

Photos by Robbie Sweeny and courtesy of Cameron House

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PROJECTS AND PERFORMANCES, VISIT

Miyoshi Sketches & The Escape – May 17th, 7pm at the de Young Museum!

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Miyoshi Sketches is a new work by composer Francis Wong created with the support of Individual Artist Commissions of Cultural Equity Grants. This work features Tatsu Aoki and Chizuru Kineya, shamisen (Japanese 3 string lute), Yangqin Zhao on yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer), Jim Norton and Francis Wong on woodwinds, Wayne Wallace on trombone, Melody Takata on taiko, and Deszon Claiborne on multiple percussion. It memorializes the friendship that developed between Wong’s parents, immigrants from China, and John Miyoshi, a Japanese American World War II veteran in the post-World War II era in San Francisco. In addition to Miyoshi Sketches the ensemble will also perform two older compositions by Wong entitled La Chine Africaine (for my mother), and Dream. www.franciswong.net

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The Escape by Lenora Lee Dance

with Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo.

featuring media design by Olivia Ting, music by Francis Wong, text by Genny Lim, lighting by Patty-Ann Farrell, and videography directed by Tatsu Aoki, filmed by Ben Estabrook & Eric Koziol

The Escape is an interdisciplinary performance piece inspired by stories of women who had become vulnerable upon arrival into the U.S. during the early 20th Century. The pieces seek to shed light on the experiences of these women in the context of the social history of the period for Chinese in America as well as for women in the society as a whole with the struggles and achievements of the 20th Century Women’s Movement, which took on such issues as child labor and human trafficking.  www.LenoraLeeDance.com

Friday, May 17, 7pm, FREE

Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum

Golden Gate Park

50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive • San Francisco, CA 94118

For more info http://deyoung.famsf.org/deyoung/calendar/miyoshi-sketches-and-escape-lenora-lee-dance


Celebrating 25 Years of Asian Improv aRts – Saturday, May 11th, 1pm!

Francis Wong & Melody Takata

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, Asian Improv aRts, and API Cultural Center present

Celebrating 25 Years of Asian Improv aRts!

The Francis Wong Unit featuring saxophonist Francis Wong, bassist John-Carlos Perea, multiple percussionist Karen Stackpole, and guitarist Karl Evangelista with guests taiko (Japanese drums) artist Melody Takata, dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee, poet/performer Genny Lim, and other special guests TBA.

Saturday, May 11th, 1pm, FREE

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

760 Howard Street (between 3rd & 4th Streets)

San Francisco, CA  94103

For more info: http://www.ybgf.org/, www.asianimprov.org

Photo by John O’Donnell


Open process with de Young Artist Fellow Lenora Lee – beginning May 1st

Lenora Lee

The Escape and Rescued Memories: New York Stories

Presented with Asian Improv aRts, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, and Donaldina Cameron House

The Escape and Rescued Memories: New York Stories are interdisciplinary companion performance pieces inspired by stories of women who had become vulnerable upon arrival into the U.S. during the early 20th Century. The pieces seek to shed light on the experiences of these women in the context of the social history of the period for the Chinese in America as well as for women in the society as a whole with the struggles and achievements of the 20th Century Women’s Movement, which took on such issues as child labor and human trafficking. Throughout the year, Lenora Lee and an ensemble of artists will develop these two new pieces, which will be presented as works in progress and final productions throughout her yearlong fellowship.

By Lenora Lee Dance

With Kei Lunch Martial Arts and Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo

Featuring media design by Olivia Ting, music by Francis Wong, text by poet Genny Lim, lighting by Patty-Ann Farrell, and videography directed by Tatsu Aoki, filmed by Ben Estabrook, Eric Koziol, and Heath Orchard

 

RELATED EVENTS

May 1 – June 2, 2013 | Wednesdays–Sundays, 1-5 pm plus Friday Nights until 8:45 pm | Kimball Education Gallery/Artist Studio

Open process rehearsals by Lenora Lee Dance

 

Friday, May 10 | 6 pm | Kimball Education Gallery

Open rehearsal and panel discussion of The Escape with representatives from Cameron House, Asian Women’s Shelter, and Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach

 

Saturday, May 11 | Kimball Education Gallery

Poem and etching activity based on the Angel Island Immigration Station experience, hosted by the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum

 

Friday, May 17 | 7 pm | Koret Auditorium

Live performance by composer Francis Wong, Miyoshi Sketches, and Lenora Lee Dance, excerpt from The Escape

 

Friday, May 31 | 6-8 pm | Kimball Education Gallery

Artist Reception and Lion dance by Kei Lun Martial Arts

 

November 8 and 9 | 7 pm | The Escape and Rescued Memories: New York Stories. Ticket info tba.

 

Kimball Gallery, de Young Museum

Golden Gate Park

50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive • San Francisco, CA 94118

For more info http://deyoung.famsf.org/

All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise stated. Space is limited and first come, first served.

For more information, visit deyoungmuseum.org/artistfellows, call 415-750-3531, or e-mail amartin@famsf.org. Join us on Facebook and Twitter: de Young museum.

The Artist Fellows program is generously funded by The James Irvine Foundation’s Innovation Fund and the Institute of Museum and Library Services/Museums for America. Additional support is from Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University, Asian Women Giving Circle, California Arts Council, CA$H, a grants program administered by Theatre Bay Area in partnership with Dancers’ Group, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, WKK Donor-Advised Fund of the San Francisco Foundation, and Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Thank you also to our community partners: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Asian Women’s Shelter, Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo, Kei Lun Martial Arts, New York Asian Women’s Center, and San Francisco Department on the Status of Women.

 


Lenora Lee Dance 5th Anniversary Season


Lenora Lee Dance performs 10/31 – 11/4 at the WHITE WAVE John Ryan Theater in New York!

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Lenora Lee Dance celebrates its 5th Anniversary Season in New York as part of  WHITE WAVE and WAVE RISING SERIES  – Program F.

PROGRAM F DESCRIPTION
Lenora Lee Dance (CA) “The Escape”
MADboots dance co. (NJ) “ALL GOOD SONS”
Jennifer Mellor Dance Project (NY) “Love/Lost”
SunHeon Dance Company (Korea) “Into the Korea”

Wednesday, October 31st, 7:30pm (preview excerpt)

Friday & Sunday, November 2nd & 4th, 7:30pm

Saturday, November 3rd, 4pm

WHITE WAVE John Ryan Theater, 25 Jay St, Suite 100, Brooklyn, NY  11201

Info: www.whitewavedance.com, or email Lenora@asianimprov.org

Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/262153

The Escape  by Lenora Lee Dance with Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo, featuring media design by Olivia Ting, music by Francis Wong, and videography directed by Tatsu Aoki / shot by Ben Estabrook & Eric Koziol.

The piece is inspired by stories of women who had become vulnerable upon arrival into the U.S. during the early 20th Century. The project seeks to shed light on the experiences of these women in the context of the social history of the period for Chinese in America as well as for women in the society as a whole with the struggles and achievements of the 20th Century Women’s Movement, which took on such issues as child labor and human trafficking.

This work is being developed through the support of Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, Cameron House, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Asian Women’s Shelter, Asian Anti-Trafficking Collaborative, and the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women. The Escape is part of a larger commissioned work to be performed at the de Young Museum as part of their 2013 Artist Fellows program.

Also supported by Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Grants For the Arts/SF Hotel Tax Fund, WKK Donor-Advised Fund, San Francisco Foundation, and Individual Donors.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny


“Reflections” short film premieres 8/25 at the Chinatown Music Festival!

The “Reflections” short film was selected for the Chinese Culture Center (CCC) collaboration with the Fei Contemporary Art Center Video Project.  The U.S. premiere screening will be at the Chinatown Music Festival on Saturday, August 25 in the CCC gallery (750 Kearny Street at Clay, 3rd Floor, SF, CA 94108)! The selected U.S. videos will also run in a loop with other international videos for Chinese Culture Center upcoming show, Women, opening Sept 15-Nov 30.

The selected videos are currently playing in Shanghai at the Fei Contemporary Art Center and in Taipei at the Bamboo Curtain Studio. The current videos on view at the Chinese Culture Center are available at the CCC website.

Produced by Lenora Lee and Olivia Ting
REFLECTIONS
Video 8:51
2012

REFLECTIONS addresses the struggle for dominance and survival.
Traditionally, Chinese lion dances at festivals bring good luck and drive away misfortune. However, in this short film, the lions represent dual roles of heroism and inner demons for a man coming to terms with his identity in a land that may never embrace him. The lion mask for him embodies a false sense of defiance, of power. Ultimately, when the mask is stripped of its outer skin, he is left unadorned to face his truths.
This is a film inspired by a larger interdisciplinary dance theater work of the same name that premiered in San Francisco September 2011 and in New York October 2011. Performed by Lenora Lee Dance with Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo. Featuring media design and editing by Olivia Ting, music by Francis Wong, text by Genny Lim, Olivia Ting, Lenora Lee, and videography by Ben Estabrook.

Lenora Lee Dance – 5th Anniversary Season October 12-14 at Dance Mission Theater!

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24jul2012_5584Lenora Lee Dance – 5th Anniversary Season

            Passages: For Lee Ping To (2010) – excerpt

            Reflections (2011)

            The Escape

with Kei Lun Martial Arts & Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo, featuring media design by Olivia Ting, music by Francis Wong, text by Genny Lim, and videography directed by Tatsu Aoki, filmed by Ben Estabrook & Eric Koziol

Friday & Saturday, October 12th & 13th, 8pm and Sunday, October 14th, 3:30pm

Dance Mission Theater – 3316 – 24th St @ Mission, SF, CA  94110

Venue info: www.dancemission.com 

Admission: $15-25 in advance online, $20-25 at the door

Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/265448

Note: for ages 16 years old and up

More info: www.LenoraLeeDance.com or email Lenora@asianimprov.org

Program

LLD’s 5th Anniversary performances share a breadth of Lenora’s large-scale interdisciplinary work. This program of three pieces represents a trilogy of works addressing key experiences in the Chinese American narrative.

Passages: For Lee Ping To (excerpt – SF) tells the story of Lee’s grandmother’s immigration through Angel Island during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act. It utilizes historical documents as source material and includes transcripts of Lee Ping To’s interrogation during her incarceration on the island. Passages was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design.

Reflections (SF) delves into the experiences of 3 generations of men in their search for a sense of place in American society. It addresses the struggle for dominance and survival, the pursuit of wisdom, and ultimately the quest for peace. Reflections was developed through the support of the CounterPULSE Artist Residency Commissioning Program.

The Escape (SF & NY) is inspired by stories of women who had become vulnerable upon arrival into the U.S. during the early 20th Century. The project seeks to shed light on the experiences of these women in the context of the social history of the period for Chinese in America as well as for women in the society as a whole with the struggles and achievements of the 20th Century Women’s Movement, which took on such issues as child labor and human trafficking.

The multimedia projection will highlight a site-specific re-creation of experiences in Cameron House, a historic five-story building in SF Chinatown from the period explored in the work. From its founding as the Mission Home for Girls in 1874 until the 1930s, Cameron House assisted over 2,000 women who sought shelter, education, and opportunities, or sought refuge from forced domestic labor or servitude. These women came through CH to recover their lives and realize positive contributions to the community and society. The Escape is part of a larger commissioned work to be performed at the de Young Museum as part of their 2013 Artist Fellows program.

Live Performers: Lenora Lee, Marina Fukushima, Chin-Chin Hsu, Ronald Wong, Dale Chung, Raymond Fong, Yukihiko Noda, Jon Iiyama, Collin Wong, Melody Takata, SanSan Kwan, Grace Alvarez, Chia-Yi Seetoo, Monica Tzeng, Jenny Leung, Anne Chen, Pamela Wong, Amy Lam, Additionally on Video: Alisa Wong, Chizuru Kineya, Laurene Chan, Corey Chan, Kimberly Elliot, Carl Irons, Olivia Ting, Karina Lee Howe, Kate Lee Howe, James Chan, Nolan Chow, Junichiro Nakanishi, Keith Soohoo, Kevin Ho, and the dragon dancers from Kei Lun Martial Arts

Music Score:  composer/saxophonist Francis Wong, with Kei Lun Martial Arts, Tatsu Aoki (bass, taiko), Melody Takata (taiko), Karen Stackpole (drums, gongs). Wayne Wallace (trombone), Kat Parra (vocals), Genny Lim (vocals), and Corey Chan (Chinese drum).

Co-presented by Asian Improv aRts, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, and Cameron House. Community Partners: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Asian Women’s Shelter, Asian Anti-Trafficking Collaborative, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women

Supported by Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Grants For the Arts/SF Hotel Tax Fund, WKK Donor-Advised Fund, San Francisco Foundation, and Individual Donors.

Photo by Robbie Sweeny


CBS News Coverage of CHSA, NARA, and “Passages” Gallery Installation

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We are very happy to share a CBS news segment that aired May 9th, 6pm on the

Chinese Historical Society of America Museum featuring director Sue Lee,

the saving of the “A” files for public access at the National Archives in San Bruno, and the

Passages installation and performance by Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting, and Francis Wong, with text by Genny Lim.


“Passages” gallery installation at CHSA

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“Passages” gallery installation (2012)

On view April 12, 2012 – January 31, 2013 at the Chinese Historical Society of America

Click here to see the CBS News Coverage of CHSA, the saving of the “A” files, and the “Passages” installation.

This installation by Lenora Lee and Olivia Ting is inspired by an evening length interdisciplinary performance piece entitled “Passages: For Lee Ping To” (2010), by Lenora Lee Dance, featuring media & set design by Olivia Ting, music by Francis Wong, and poetry by Genny Lim.  It shares stories of immigration to the U.S. through the Angel Island Immigration Station and includes multimedia video projected on the glass doors/windows, walls, tabletop, and feeding into a large screen monitor.  Listening stations with interrogation questions, poetry, and music accompany the videos and installation.  A 23 ft x 5 ft wall mural comprised of 160 sheets of paper tiles contain immigration and interrogation documents, imagery of Angel Island barracks, maps of Angel Island, of Toisan, China, of handprints, fingerprints, and of topological maps of the face.

The “Passages” gallery installation is on view April 12, 2012 – January 31, 2013 as part of CHSA Museum’s new “Remnants” gallery exhibition, which also features work by Gordon Chun, Nancy Hom, Michael Jang, Cynthia Tom, & Flo Oy Wong.

Chinese Historical Society of America Museum
965 Clay Street, SF, CA  94108 (between Powell & Stockton)
For more info: www.chsa.org, (415) 391-1188

The interdisciplinary performance piece “Passages: For Lee Ping To” (2010) was commissioned as a part of the community Centennial commemoration of the opening of the Angel Island Immigration Station. It is an homage to Lenora’s maternal grandparents Lee Ping To and Yee Ock Kee.  Recently nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design. www.LenoraLeeDance.com

Click here for more photos of the installation.