“blood run” at the United States of Asian America Festival (20 May 2017)

Part ritual, part performance art, part colonial history inscribed on the body, blood run investigates Cynthia Ling Lee’s Han Chinese colonizer and Taiwanese plains indigenous heritages within the context of larger political histories. Combining multimedia, dance, and poetic text, blood run asks: “What is the difference between an immigrant and a colonizer?” “How do the colonizer and colonized live inside the same body?” “When does survival require disappearance?”  blood run asks what hidden histories are contained in the body, while poignantly acknowledging the impossibility of fully reclaiming what has been lost.

Saturday, May 20, 2017, 8 pm
934 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tickets: $15 general, $10 student/APICC artist


blood run is part of the United States of Asian America Festival: Threading Resilience, which is presented by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.  

Artist Bio

Born in the US, Cynthia Ling Lee (李怡欣) is an interdisciplinary performance troublemaker of Hoklo Han and, possibly, Pingpu indigenous heritages.  Her male ancestors first migrated to Taiwan in the 1700s as settler-colonists under the Qing Dynasty’s imperial expansionist project and, so the unreliable story goes, intermarried with indigenous women.  Cynthia Ling Lee’s interdisciplinary work explores postcolonial, queer, and feminist-of-color approaches to body-based performance.  Trained in North Indian classical kathak and US postmodern dance, her work emerges from intimate, non-hierarchical, and collaborative processes with dancers, musicians, visual artists, and scholars of diverse backgrounds. Her artistic partners-in-crime include the Post Natyam Collective, a transnational web-based coalition of South Asian dance artists whose work triangulates between art-making, activism, and theory; director/dramaturg Alison De La Cruz; musicians David Cutler (jazz/new music), Ravindra Deo (Hindustani) and Loren Nerell (Indonesian/electronic); and visual artists YaYa Chou (sculptural installation), Carole Kim (multimedia) and Adnan Hussain (animation).  Cynthia’s choreography  has been presented at venues such as Dance Theater Workshop (New York), REDCAT (Los Angeles), East West Players (Los Angeles), Taman Ismail Marzuki (Jakarta), Kuandu Arts Festival (Taipei), IGNITE! Festival of Contemporary Dance (New Delhi), and Chandra-Mandapa: Spaces (Chennai).  Cynthia was the recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, an Asia-Pacific Performing Arts Exchange Fellowship, a Taipei Artist Village Residency, a NET/TEN grant, two Santa Monica Individual Artist Fellowships, and two Artists’ Resource for Completion grants.  Influential teachers include Simone Forti, Eiko & Koma, Judy Mitoma, Pallabi Chakravorty, Bandana Sen, Kumudini Lakhia, Anjani Ambegaokar, and the contact improvisation community.  She is an executive board member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters, dedicated to propelling ensemble practice to the forefront of American culture and society, and an assistant professor of dance at UC Santa Cruz.  

Learning to Walk Like Radha (2011)
s k i n (2010)
rubix (2012)
blood run film (2015)