Next performance June 29 and 30 in Melody Takata's "Boxes"

Not knowing who we are could be wonderful. Is personal identity a "box"? Referencing the work of writer Kobo Abe, this new interdisciplinary collaboration from Melody Takata explores the investment in identity in today’s racialized and technology-driven existence. In this pursuit, Boxes brings together a multi-dimensioned ensemble drawing on artistic languages from traditional Japanese culture to the avant garde visual, media, and sound arts. Featuring musician/dancer Melody Takata, saxophonist Francis Wong, tuba player William Roper of Los Angeles, bassist, shamisen, taiko artist, and filmmaker Tatsu Aoki of Chicago, Taiko and Visual Artist Kioto Aoki of Chicago, and Grandmaster of the nagauta (kabuki style) shamisen Chizuru Kineya of Tokyo.

Admission free. Seating is limited so please reserve by going to

Boxes is a presentation of Japan Week/SF 2018.


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It's that time again! ImprovisAsians 2018: April 18 - 20

Asian Improv aRts in association with the Sound and Social Justice Commons and San Francisco State University Creative Music Studies


ImprovisAsians 2018!:

April 18 - April 20, 2018

San Francisco State University

Creative Arts Building

1600 Holloway Ave.

San Francisco, CA

ImprovisAsians! is an annual series of performances and discussions at San Francisco State University exploring the connection between the performing arts and community-building. All events are free!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Performativities I

A program of duo and solo performance by


SFSU Professors Hafez Modirzadeh and Francis Wong (saxophones)

Ramin Zoufonoun  (solo Persian piano)

SFSU Professor John Carlos Perea (Native American flute) and Shura Ng Taylor (guzheng)


1:10 pm to 2 pm

Knuth Hall, SFSU Creative Arts Building

Admission Free and Open to the Public




Friday, April 20, 2018


Performativities II

A program of interdisciplinary works featuring


SFSU Professors Wesley Ueunten (sanshin and voice), John-Carlos Perea (bass) and Francis Wong

Melody Takata (taiko)

Lenora Lee Dance


1:10 pm to 2 pm

Knuth Hall, SFSU Creative Arts Building

Admission Free and Open to the Public


Join me in LA for Remembering Glenn Horiuchi

Bobby Bradford, William Roper, Francis Wong

Lenora Lee

Melody Takata

Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 02:00 PM
Far East Lounge, Little Tokyo, 353 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Musicians Francis Wong, Bobby Bradford, and William Roper, dancer/choreographers Lenora Lee and Melody Takata, will present an interdisciplinary concert in tribute to the late composer/instrumentalist Glenn Horiuchi and in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the production company Asian Improv aRts.

For more details click here

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Silence-Sound-Action-(?) Installation in SF Chinatown On View through November 2


Silence-Sound-Action-( )
Social Botany in San Francisco’s 2nd Research Presentation, Featuring Francis Wong 

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 20, 5-7pm
Gallery Hours: Wed - Sat, 11am-4pm, or by appointment
Installation on view Thursday, 20 OCTOBER, 2016 – Wednesday, 2 NOVEMBER, 2016

“We are not as concerned with selling our music in physical forms, like CDs, or even as MP3s, we are more concerned with increasing the symbolic value of our works, as a means to create both economic and artistic opportunity in an overall sense.” -- Francis Wong

Read more
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Inspira! Performing at Lancaster New Sounds April 2

Looking forward to Saturday's show in Lancaster, PA!

For information click here

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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 yours truly!


For website links to each individual event click here


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January 2016 Performances!

Well I thought it was going to be "Silent Night" for a while but I was wrong. Three shows are coming up: one in SF, one in SJ, and one in Lancaster, PA!

Avotcja and members of Modupue w/Jon Jang, Heshima Mark Williams, and Francis Wong Jan 3 at Bird and Beckett in SF

Avotcja and members of Modupue in San Jose January 10  JAZZ & THE FIRE OF WORDSONG

Inspira: Power of the Spiritual w/Dr. Amanda Kemp, Michael Jamanis, Matthew Armstead, Gerri McCritty, and Francis Wong, Jan 18 in Lacaster, PA 

Happy New Year!

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Next performance: Taiko Legacy 12 & Reduction 3 in Chicago

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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Lenora Lee Dance - Fire of Freedom - Premieres 9/10-9/20 at Fort Mason's General's Residence

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 ( 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: &

BUY TICKETS (or call (415) 345-7575)

VENUE: The General's Residence (show less)


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Francis Wong's Website