Multimedia Performance with Lenora Lee | KQED Arts

Multimedia Performance with Lenora Lee | KQED Arts



the last thing that I would want to be as entertaining that's not why I'm in performance I'm in performance to share experiences in a very genuine intuitive honest way and to be able to talk about issues through the work my name is Leonora Li and I am a dancer choreographer and artistic director of Leonora Li dance I am a native San Franciscan and I grew up here I started dance classes when I was 4 years old until I was 10 and during that period of time I studied ballet tap and jazz in a very informal type of way and I really fell in love with modern dance improvisation and Composition because I felt like the exercises and the movements that we were doing were providing me an avenue to be able to communicate communicate about experiences life the way I felt challenges and struggles that I was dealing with since 2010 we've really been creating pieces that integrate dance martial arts video projection texts and music we share through the dance through our movement through the text and through the video and layer one upon the other so that it's really about creating this environment and this world for people looking back that this place in time looking back at this for the most recent works I started to do research in San Francisco Chinatown at an organization called Donald inna Cameron house fortunately I was allowed access into their archives to take a look at these historical documents and they were documents from young women and girls who had been brought to the United States were forced into domestic servitude and some were forced into prostitution and I put together kind of a collage of stories and experiences and that's how I created the characters and the scenarios and the scenes that are played out the lady took me to see a man I had to cook and clean for him all these years now I am sold again to another man and people call me a 100 mint wife so when we started these projects I had various situations and scenarios in my mind but I also brought them to the dancers that I was working with and I asked the dancers to write about their own experiences of injustice their own experiences of loss and of seeking beauty seeking hope and transformation and asked them to write about them so we actually use that as a foundation to generate movement I give them the freedom to create whatever gestures and movement that they like and then I really take the liberty on how we utilize that movement which material so it's basically like they create the vocabulary and I form the sentences my platoon right we are portraying a community when we're out there there's ten of us you know on stage and it's really about community and individuality at the same time I think sometimes I focused on aspects of the work that our tableau to talk about or maybe taboo to talk about outside of the family are taboo to talk about outside of the community I've taken some risks and I feel that people have appreciated the risk-taking along the way I don't consider myself an activist it's interesting when people consider the work that way because I feel like my responsibility really is to make the art work I demonstrate through the art what I feel is most compelling or most engaging about these experiences

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