Fighting to be free - Page 2

Promising choreography and stellar dancing in works by FACT/SF and Lenora Lee

Fighting to be free: Lenora Lee and Collin Wong in Lee's Reflections.

Lee made a brilliant choice in enlisting two martial arts group, Kei Lun Martial Arts and Enshin Karate, South San Francisco Dojo. They were the warriors who fought each other in the "cold streets of Chinatown," but also embodied the ongoing struggle within. Raymond Fong, who is as fine an actor as he is at practicing karate, became Reflections' everyman. Lee's mixing of her own choreography with pure martial arts worked well; seeing the real thing onstage (and not often-vacuous "martial arts inspired moves") was thrilling. At the same these performers looked more nuanced than they might otherwise. Weakest was the choreography for the two women characters, Marina Fukushima as the unattainable dream and Lee herself as a compassionate woman warrior.

Making fine use of a lion dance, including bamboo lion heads that imprisoned, Lee strung together the work's seven scenes rather straightforwardly. Weaving them more tightly together and including better transitions might strengthen Reflections' backbone in future performances.

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