Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Latest Updates

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!

24jul2012_5286

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!

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

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

“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.


“Passages: For Lee Ping To” – April 14 2012 at CHSA Museum

As part of the Remnants exhibition, installation artist Lenora Lee will perform short excerpts from her interdisciplinary piece “Passages: For Lee Ping To,” inspired by stories of immigration to the US through the Angel Island Immigration Station. By Lenora Lee Dance, media design by Olivia Ting, sound score by Francis Wong, text by Genny Lim. Please visit www.LenoraLeeDance.com for more information.

RSVP on Facebook >

CHSA Museum
965 Clay Street
San Francisco CA 94108
(415) 391-1188
www.chsa.org
Museum admission $5 adults, $3 seniors/students, $2 children ages 6-17
Program free with museum admission


Remnants Opening Reception – April 12 2012 at CHSA Museum


Opening April 12, 2012

Join us to celebrate the opening of the new exhibition Remnants: Artists Respond to the Chinese American Experience, which explores artists’ interpretation of and response to the Chinese American experience. View the work, speak with the artists, enjoy refreshments, and see the CHSA Museum’s revitalized galleries.

RSVP on Facebook >


In the Year of the Dragon, 2012, the Chinese Historical Society of America will revitalize its museum, giving its history exhibits an infusion of art. CHSA has reached out to its artistic community to create works that interpret and respond to the themes of its history galleries. The first art installations will appear in the museum in April, marked by an opening reception on Thursday, April 12.

Five artists are participating in the spring installation: Nancy Hom, Michael Jang, Lenora Lee, Cynthia Tom and Flo Oy Wong. Another group of artists’ works will be installed in September. With this creative approach to its exhibition program, CHSA hopes to invent a new experience for its visitors, bringing a deeper understanding of the Chinese American experience. The selected work for the spring installation focuses on personal narrative, memory and family – concepts that characterize Chinese America.

Among this group of artwork, the centerpiece will be a site-specific installation of the set from the performance “Passages” by Lenora Lee Dance. A powerful portrayal of the journey endured by Lee’s grandmother through Angel Island and into American life, “Passages” presents a memorable narrative through stunning visuals. Works by the other artists will further explore themes of family and remembrance using a range of artistic expression, bearing unique witness to Chinese American history.

FEATURING:
Nancy Hom
Michael Jang
Lenora Lee
Cynthia Tom
Flo Oy Wong