Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Chinese Historical Society of America, and Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation present the World Premiere of
Within These Walls
A multimedia immersive dance experience by Lenora Lee Dance
At the Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay
Saturdays & Sundays, September 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th
11am-12pm & 12:30-1:30pm
Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.
Due to the nature of this performance where there are multiple dances and character narratives unfolding simultaneously throughout the Immigration Station, we recommend you see the performance more than once. It will never be the same experience twice. See ticket options for details on discounted tickets to see the performance twice in one day.
There will also be free screenings of LLD’s recent dance films in the Immigration Station Mess Hall held simultaneously at 11am and 12:30pm for ticket holders. These films were created in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Tatsu Aoki. Come early or stay after the performance to see the films!
Those attending one of the 9/16 or 9/17 performances may be captured on film and are asked to sign a Release Form, as we are building an experimental dance film of the Within These Wallsperformance piece. If you prefer to not be captured on film, please attend one of the 9/9 or 9/10 performances.
Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 10th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Within These Walls, a new site-specific immersive multimedia dance experience premiering in a two-week run 9/9 – 9/17/17 on the Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco Bay. This work for 14 performers, integrating contemporary dance, video projection, recorded original music, and poetry, will serve as a meditation on healing, resilience, and compassion. Inspired by experiences of those detained and processed on the Station, Within These Walls will transform and animate these historic spaces into sites for remembrance, as part of a community-wide commemoration of the 135th Anniversary of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.
Audiences will travel through a labyrinth of rooms throughout the historic two story building in an intimate interactive environment, a tapestry of movement, sound, poetry and film integrated throughout the inside and outside of the building, and within the walls.
Conceived, produced & directed by Lenora Lee
Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with performers Yao Dang, Lynn Huang, Timothy Huey, Hien Huynh, Carl Irons, Eric Koziol, SanSan Kwan, Wayne Tai Lee, Kevin Lo, Chloe Luo, Johnny Nguyen, Shannon Preto, Yi-Ting (Gama) Hsu, Stacey Yuen
Music score by Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki, with Kioto Aoki, JoVia Armstrong, Rami Atassi, Jonathan Chen, Suwan Choi, Deszon X. Claiborne, Coco Elysses, Jason Kao Hwang, Michael Jamanis, Jamie Kempkers, Chad Taylor, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Michael Zerang
Poetry & text by Genny Lim, Wong Gung Jue, and Immigration Station detainees
Voiceover by Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, Todd Nakagawa, Johnny Nguyen, Shannon Preto
Media Design by Olivia Ting
Videography directed by Lenora Lee
filmed by Lenora Lee, Shannon Preto, Olivia Ting
edited by Tatsu Aoki, Lenora Lee, Olivia Ting
- Comfortable footwear is encouraged.
- Food is not available at the Station. You may want to bringbottled water with you.
- Guests may encounter situations in close proximity with performers.
- We encourage guests with special needs to contact us prior to arrival at: [email protected] or (415) 816-9376
From 1910 to 1940, Angel Island was the site of an Immigration Station that functioned as the West Coast equivalent of Ellis Island, although the Angel Island facility also enforced policies designed to exclude, rather than welcome, many Pacific Coast immigrants coming from eighty two countries. The processing time for most in the Station was two-three days, however for Chinese, the average was 3 weeks to 3 months of detention. One individual spent 22 months in the station.
In 1970, the site was slated for demolition because of its deteriorated condition; but the discovery of Chinese poetry that had been carved into the walls of the detention barracks saved it from destruction and led to renewed interest in the Angel Island Immigration Station. It increased awareness of the need to access the vivid lessons of sacrifice and triumph in the history of immigration. As a result of a broad advocacy campaign, funding was secured to preserve the site and to open the barracks to the public in 1983. Out of the community campaign the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) was founded to continue preservation and educational efforts for the site, and to increase awareness of the contributions Pacific Coast immigrants make.
The mission of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) is to promote a greater understanding of Pacific Coast immigration and its role in shaping America’s past, present and future. In partnership with the California State Parks, AIISF educates the public about the complex story and rich cultural heritage of Pacific Coast immigrants and their descendants.
LLD'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.
“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
“What struck me most was how Lee managed to embed the narrative into the installation’s structure. So many different things were happening all at once and no one could predict what was going to occur, or when, or where... it shows how carefully Lee wove the narrative into everyone’s experience, including the viewer’s.” - Heather Desaulniers, Dance Commentary, 9/13/15
Within These Walls is supported in part by California Arts Council, California State Parks, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation, Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Dance Mission Theater and to Generous Individuals. Special thanks to Casey Dexter-Lee, Grant Din and Penelope Wong.
Photo of Johnny Nguyen, by Robbie Sweeny
Angel Island Immigration Station
Tiburon, CA 94920
Google map and directions