Join us this Friday to watch “The Detached” Short Film at the 2016 CAAMFest!

Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki, in association with production partners Lenora Lee Dance, Innocent Eyes and Lenses Films, and Asian Improv aRts present the premier of the short film "The Detached" as a part of the 2016 CAAMFest "Through the Looking Glass" short film program!

For more information about this event please visit our calendar by clicking here.

We hope to see all of you there this Friday March 11th at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco!


Photo Credit: From "The Detached" by Robbie Sweeney

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ImprovisAsians! 2016

ImprovisAsians 2016! Coming up in less than two weeks! Please make it to one of the shows.

This year we have expanded our venues to Japantown for the concert will Bobby Bradford, William Roper, Lenora Lee, Genevieve Lim, and Francis Wong!


For website links to each individual event click here

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Upcoming January 2016 Performances!

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Tsukasa Taiko Taiko Legacy 12 & Reduction 3

co-presented by MCA Stage & Asian Improv aRts Midwest

Taiko Legacy 12 - Sat & Sun, Dec 19 & 20, 3 pm

TL12 is a matinee and perennial favorite featuring Tsukasa Taiko. Tsukasa is celebrated for convening three generations of drummers in its ensemble and representing today's vibrant pan-Asian heritage. The core Japanese aesthetic in taiko and classical instruments and kimono dance is presented in this program, which features the dance art of grandmaster Shunojo Fujima and Yoshinojo Fujima, along with esteemed musical artists from Tokyo, grandmasters Chizuru Kineya, Kizan Kawamura, Takane Umeya, and SHINTA from Sapporo, Japan, San Francisco's Melody Takata and Gen Ensemble.

Reduction 3 - Sat, Dec 19, 7:30 pm 

Reduction forefronts taiko's central role in the3 musical experimentati8on of 1970s Tokyo. Directed by creative artist Tatsu Aoki, this hybrid program owes uch to Aoki's roots in a well-known artisan family and his role in Tokyo's new wave of performance art. Reduction explores the quieter contours of space, silence, time, weight, and visual imagery to connect the viewer to the less obvious elements of beauty inherent in today's Japanese art forms.

The unearthly Ayako Kato, originally of Yokohama and currently one of Chicago's leading contemporary dance improvisers, performs alongside formidable creative musicians including Nicole Mitchell on flutes, Ari Brown and Douglas R. Ewart on reeds. The superb percussive talents of Eigen Aoki, Hamid Drake, and Michael Zerang and SHINTA from Japan demonstrates taiko's complexity, in an extended improvisation set that also features the artists performing on snare drums and percussion. Additional guest artists in the program are Melody Takata and Francis Wong (San Francisco), Jonathan Chen (New York), and others to be announced.

At the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago's Edlis Neeson Theater, 220 East Chicago Ave.

Buy tickets online:

or call the MCA Box Office: 312.397.4010

MCA members: $16

Nonmembers: $20

Students: $10

Taiko Legacy Promotional Video

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Pages - A new interdisiciplinary work by Melody Takata to premiere Halloween at the Asian Art Museum

at 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St, San Francisco, California 94102

Things will get a little spooky with an innovative performance combining music, experimental film and dance, inspired by the 1926 film “A Page of Madness,” written by Nobel Prize-winning Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata (1899–1972). PAGES is a meditation on the emergence of Japanese modernist and experimentalist art movements. 

The performance haunts and delights with a music ensemble directed by saxophonist Francis Wong with Tatsu and Kioto on electronics and taiko respectively, an experimental film by Tatsu Aoki, and taiko, costuming and movement components by Melody Takata. 


Supported in part by an Organization Project Grant sponsored by the Community Investments Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission. 

Check out a preview of the performance here


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Don't miss a rare performance of Jon Jang's Tiananmen! October 25

From Jon Jang "Sunday October 25 at 6:45 at the Green Room in the War Memorial Veteran's Building on Van Ness in San Francisco, Tiananmen will be reimagined in a FREE performance with new and younger creative musicians such as Hitomi Oba and Henry Hung, as well as a rhythm section of Gary Brown and Deszon Cliaborne who have been performing my music the past decade. One cannot have a concert at Veteran's Building without the vets who have performed my music the past three decades: James NortonJohn L. Worley Jr, Melecio Magdaluyo and Jeff Cressman."

This performance is a part of SF Music Day presented by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. It is also a part of Anthony Brown's Field Report and the state of the Asian American jazz movement. The performance is partially funded by Asian Improv aRts in order that this major work last performed in 1994 could be remounted and "reimagined" 21 years later. For a full schedule for SF Music Day click here.

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Lenora Lee Dance - World Premiere - Fire of Freedom - Fort Mason 9/10 to 9/20

FORT MASON CENTER PRESENTS -- Lenora Lee Dance: Fire of Freedom

The General's Residence — Sep 10th through Sep 20th


Fort Mason Center Presents, in association with Asian Improv aRts, the Asian Pacific Islander API Cultural Center, and the Chinese Historical Society of America present the world premiere of Fire of Freedom by Lenora Lee Dance.

Fire of Freedom is a new multimedia immersive dance work that explores cycles of violence and healing in the context of an increasingly challenging world. Audiences travel through a labyrinth of rooms within the three-story General’s Residence, experiencing movement vignettes in a sound and visual collage designed by Lenora Lee Dance (LLD)’s innovative interdisciplinary artistic team. LLD’s work has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, human trafficking, and the impacts of these issues, particularly on women and families.

Fire of Freedom features media design by Olivia Ting, music by Francis Wong, videography directed by Tatsu Aoki, lighting by Patty Ann Farrell, and media programming by Ian Winters. Performers include Nick Brentley, Christian Felix, Larissa Fong, Marina Fukushima, Irene Hsiao, Chin-chin Hsu, Gama Hsu, Lynn Huang, SanSan Kwan, Wei-Shan Lai, Wayne Tai Lee, and David Silpa.

Audience 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.
++ For guests with special needs -- please contact us prior to arrival ([email protected] or (415) 345-7575).

Thursday-Sunday, September 10-20, 8:00 p.m.
$16-$20 (General Admission)
$30-$50 (Arts Patron, includes reserved seating)
$12-$16 (Student Rate)
$10 (Group Rate per person, minimum eight tickets purchased in advance online only)
More Information: [email protected] &

BUY TICKETS (or call (415) 345-7575)

VENUE: The General's Residence (show less)

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6th Annual Chinatown Music Festival!

For more details click here

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Japan Week 2015 June 22-28 SF Japantown

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Next performance! May 30 - Wong Wei's Gamble with the Francis Wong Unit Plus

Saturday, May 30 7:00pm
Festival Central, Bldg A, Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94123
United States
Tickets: $15-$30 General Admission and Reserved Seating

Presented by San Francisco International Arts Festival, Asian Pacific Island Cultural Center, Lenora Lee Dance and Asian Improv aRts

Taking inspiration from his grandfather, Francis Wong has created a work in four movements called WONG WEI'S GAMBLE. Wong Wei was a professional jockey and a business manager who dared to re-open the international race track in in Tianjin, China during the Japanese occupation in World War II. It was a risky move: but he did it to provide employment, entertainment, and community for his city during this dark period.

Artists featured: Francis Wong, Tatsu Aoki, Lenora Lee, John-Carlos Perea, Yangqin Zhao, Karen Stackpole, Deszon X. Claiborne, Karl Evangelista.


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Asian Improv aRts
Founded in 1987, Asian Improv aRts’ (AIR) mission is to produce, present and document artistic works that represent the Asian American experience.