Miyoshi Sketches and The Escape
With composer Francis Wong and dancer Lenora Lee
Fri May 17, 7pm
DeYoung Museum, Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, SF
Miyoshi Sketches & The Escape
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
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, and cinematography directed by Tatsu Aoki, filmed by Ben Estabrook & Eric Koziol
The Escape is 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
This program is presented be the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in collaboration with Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, and Cameron House. The Escape is part of the de Young Artist Fellows project, which has been 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 Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, WKK Donor-Advised Fund, San Francisco Foundation, and Generous Individuals.
About the Artists:
Few musicians are as accomplished as Francis Wong, 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, John Tchicai, James Newton, Joseph Jarman, Don Moye and the late Glenn Horiuchi.
But to simply call the Bay Area native a musician would be to ignore his pioneering leadership in communities throughout Northern California. Wong's imaginative career straddles roles as varied as performing artist, youth mentor, composer, artistic director, community activist, non-profit organization manager, consultant, music producer, and academic lecturer. Key vehicles for his work are Asian Improv aRts, the company he co-founded with Jon Jang and as a Senior Fellow at the Wildflowers Institute. In addition, Wong was a California Arts Council Artist in Residence from 1992 through 1998, and a Meet The Composer New Resident in 2000-2003. In 2000-2001 he was a Rockefeller Next Generation Leadership Fellow. He has also been a guest member of the faculty at San Francisco State University (1996-98) and at University of California at Santa Cruz (1996-2001).
”I choose for my work to build community and to seek out how I, as an artist can meet the challenges that our community faces. In the Asian American community, the biggest challenge is continuity of culture and the impact of assimilation. Through music, I envision a way to create continuity through the integration of tradition and innovation. www.franciswong.net
The mission of Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) is to give artistic voice to the experiences of Asian Americans. Deeply rooted in the Chinatown and Asian American communities of San Francisco, LLD pursues this mission through the creation and presentation of interdisciplinary dance works integrating movement, music, video projection, and text that tell untold stories of family, community, and transformation in the face of the challenges of building a life in America. Entering its 6th season, LLD is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who is trained in modern dance performance and choreography, taiko (Genryu Arts), and martial arts (Kei Lun Martial Arts, Enshin Karate South San Francisco Dojo). She is also an experienced arts administrator, having served as Managing Director of Asian American Dance Performances (AADP) and is currently Project Manager for the presenting organization Asian Improv aRts.
Lenora is a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 15 years in SF, LA & NYC. She is currently an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, & a Visiting Scholar at NYU. Her works have integrated various approaches to tell stories that shed light on social issues and give voice to experiences of Asian Americans.
“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, SFBG 2012
“Lee's kaleidoscopic dance views on the Asian American experience can be visually arresting - her 2010 "Passages: For Lee Ping To" (and 2011 “Reflections”) were 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, SF Chronicle 2012