Dancing Moons Festival

Oakland Ballet Company and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center presents:

Dancing Moons Festival 2024

An Isadora Duncan Award Winner

Featuring works by Natasha Adorlee, Phil Chan, Lawrence Chen, Ye Feng, Seyong Kim, Elaine Kudo, Caili Quan, and Ashley Thopiah, and including a preview of the Angel Island Project!

“Bites of the immigrant experience served tastily” 
….a program packed with diverse and punchy snippets by Asian American choreographers – a sampling well worth seeing when this nine-member ensemble brings Dancing Moons across the bay to San Francisco’s ODC theater on April 5-6.
– Rachel Howard, San Francisco Chronicle

Click Here to Read the Full Review

Click below to navigate through the page:

Reviews  |  Angel Island Project Wall

About Dancing Moons Festival 2024  |  Choreographers

Dancing Moons Festival 2024 with dancer Lawrence Chen

Please Check Back for Next Year’s Dates!

Details about the 2024 program below:

* A celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander choreographers *

Oakland Ballet Angel Island Project

Based on Huang Ruo’s composition, Angel Island, which took its inspiration from the poems carved into the walls by detainees held at the immigration station between 1910-1940, OBC will realize this 70-minute oratorio for 4 voices and string quartet in a two-year phase.

In spring 2024, several selections will be presented as “works in progress” as part of the Dancing Moons Festival 2024Next year, 2025, the rest of the choreography will be realized and the entire work performed with live music.

Also reprising:

  • Layer Upon Layer by Caili Quan (2022)
  • Ballet des Porcelaines or The Teapot Prince by Phil Chan (original 1739; reimagined 2021).
  • Highlights of Exquisite Corpse by Elaine Kudo, Seyong Kim, and Phil Chan (2023)
Lawrence and Karina interlocking elbows

About Exquisite Corpse:

The work borrows its name from a parlor game invented in 1925 by a group of artists and writers including André Breton and Marcel Duchamp. Participants took turns drawing sections of a body, then folding the work to hide their contributions. The next player added to the whole without knowing how the final result would appear. By emphasizing free play, unpredictability and collaboration, the game was quite popular in Surrealist circles in the 1920s and 30s.
Playing off this concept, Chan, Kim and Kudo have created three works each: a solo (the head), a group piece (the torso) and a duet (the legs), and the nine sections will be woven together to create an “exquisite corpse.”

Lawrence supporting Jasmine as she lifts her leg high facing the front.

About Ballet des Porcelains or The Teapot Prince:

A lost 18th Century Divertissement, the original ballet was performed in 1739 at the Chateau de Morville near Paris. It was presented once more, in 1741, in the garden of the château before being virtually lost forever. Not much survived of the 15-minute divertissement, no sets, costumes or choreography, but the score and the libretto which are kept at the National Library of France in Paris. 

In 2021, Phil Chan was commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art to reimagine the ballet’s centuries-old plot – creating a new version of the story more appropriate for today’s diverse audiences. Says Chan, “Now, instead of it being about, ‘Let’s triumph over Asian people,’ it’s about Asian people saying, ‘Hey, don’t treat us as porcelain dolls. See us with nuance.”

Meet the Dancing Moons Festival 2024 Choreographers

NATASHA ADORLEE is an Emmy Award-winning choreographer, filmmaker, composer, and educator in San Francisco, CA. A first-generation Asian American woman, she is currently the Artistic Fellow with Amy Sewiert’s Imagery. Natasha began choreographing in 2014 while maintaining an award-winning dance career with Robert Moses’ Kin, ODC/Dance, Kate Weare and Co., and The San Francisco Symphony. After winning over ten international awards for her acclaimed short film “Take Your Time” in 2018, she has been a sought-after filmmaker, choreographer, and composer ever since. After attending SUNY Purchase and graduating from UC Berkeley, Natasha was invited to join ODC/Dance. As a performer, Natasha has danced a vast repertoire of works and contributed original choreography, sound design, and art direction to over 20+ ODC/Dance repertory works. In addition, Natasha has created over 20 original dance-based works- spanning stage, film, and immersive performance mediums. Most recently, she was commissioned to create for Joffrey Ballet’s Winning Works, Ceprodac (Mexico), Kawaguchi Ballet (Japan), Ballare Carmel, Ballet22, and Imagery. In addition to working for dance companies, Natasha has created original work for Pixar Animation Studios, Occulus, National Geographic, and New Yorker Magazine. Natasha founded Concept o4 to create multimedia dance-based experiences advocating for more accessibility to the arts. Awarded an NEA Grant, Dresher Fellowship, and Jacob’s Pillow Choreographic Fellowship in 2023 and a Kansas City Ballet and BalletX commission in 2024, Natasha is pursuing a prolific creation period while sharing her deep knowledge of movement and film with the greater community through Dance on Camera workshops. She is also an Artistic Advisor for Ballet22.

Natasha Adorlee


Phil Chan, a ‘21/’22 Visiting Scholar at the A/P/A Institute at NYU and the Manhattan School of Music’s ‘21’/’22 Citizen Artist, is a graduate of Carleton College and an alumnus of the Ailey School. As a writer, he served as the Executive Editor for FLATT Magazine and contributed to Dance Europe Magazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Business Weekly, and the Huffington Post. He was the founding General Manager of the Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival, and was the General Manager for Armitage Gone! Dance. He served multiple years on the National Endowment for the Arts dance panel and the Jadin Wong Award panel presented by the Asian American Arts Alliance. He serves on the International Council for the Parsons Dance Company, the Advisory Board of Dance Magazine, and was a 2020 New York Public Library Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellow. He was just named a Next 50 arts leader by the Kennedy Center and is the co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface.

Phil Chan


Lawrence Chen (he/him) grew up in Southern California, studying ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop under the care of Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky and their faculty from the age of thirteen. He went on to compete in the YAGP, placing in the Top 12 Pas De Deux in the New York Finals of 2014 as well as in the Top 3 soloist at regional venues for several years. At Pomona College, Lawrence obtained a BA in chemistry with mathematics, took on collegiate ballroom, and performed as a principal dancer for the Inland Pacific Ballet under the watchful eye of Victoria Koenig. In addition to dancing with the Oakland Ballet Company, Lawrence teaches ballet and tutors high school STEM subjects. At OBC, he has performed as the deer dancer in Graham Lustig’s Luna Mexicana and in the title role of The Nutcracker. Lawrence has also been featured in new works by choreographers Caili Quan, Megan and Shannon Kurashige, and Phil Chan, a co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface. This is Lawrence’s third full season with the Oakland Ballet.

Lawrence Chen


Feng Ye is a “National First-Class Dancer” in China. She was a seasoned professional, serving as Artistic Director and President of the dance company in the China National Song and Dance Troupe. As performer, choreographer, and artistic director, her works were presented in the Olympic opening & closing ceremonies three times in 2004, 2008, 2014 respectively. In the South Bay Area, Feng Ye launched the Feng Ye Dance Studio and Feng Ye Dance Troupe and successfully produced and performed a grand annual gala
entitled “ENCOUNTER” at the San Jose Art Center Montgomery Theater in 2018 and “DANCE WITH NATURE” at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco in 2019. For three consecutive years, the Feng Ye Dance Troupe was selected as the only representative of Chinese dance to participate in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Feng Ye has emerged as an important figure in the region, promoting the integration of dance cultures from multiple ethnic groups.

Ye Feng


Seyong Kim, an Assistant Professor of Dance at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), holds an MA in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt and an MA in Dance from Sung-Kyun-Kwan University (Seoul, South Korea). He is a CMA (Certified Movement Analyst) from Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, a RSDE (Registered Somatic Dance Educator), and a PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique) Certified Teacher. Seyong is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum. Furthermore, he earned the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University.  

Seyong has taught for Rutgers University, Kent State University, The University of Georgia, Randolph College, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Peridance, Steps On Broadway, Texas A&M International University, Libera University in Italy, World Dance Alliance-America (WDAA), American College Dance Association (ACDA), Eisenhower Dance Detroit, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, National High School Dance Festival, Alabama Dance Festival, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Dance Now! Miami, West Hawaii Dance Theatre, Charlottesville Ballet, and Grand Rapids Ballet.  

Seyong’s research interest is to explore Inter/Multi/Trans-cultural perspectives in dance and his research was invited to present at European Association for Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies Conference (Loheland, Germany), Indonesia University of Education International Conference (Bandung, West Java), Hawaii University International Conference  (Honolulu, Hawaii), and The Society of Korean Dance Studies International Symposium (Seoul, South Korea). 

As a professional dancer, Seyong has danced with the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, Albania National Ballet Theatre, Baltimore Ballet, Traverse City Dance Project, Neglia Ballet, TAKE Dance, and Oakland Ballet Company. In addition, his choreographic works have been internationally invited at Landestheater Coburg in Germany, Florence Dance on Screen Festival in Italy, International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City, Taiwan JueDai Taipei International Dance Festival, ProArteDanza in Canada, Seoul International Dance Festival in TANK, Lebanon International Dance Festival, World Congress of Dance Research in Greece, Battery Dance Festival, Palm Desert Choreography Festival, American Dance Guild Festival, Lindenwood University, Cleveland Dance Festival, Richmond Dance Festival, Milwaukee Fringe Festival, Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, Chicago International Dance Forum, Detroit Dance City Festival, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Orlando Contemporary Dance Choreography Festival, Oklahoma International Dance Festival, CrossCurrent Asian American Dance Festival, and Movement Research at the Judson Church.  

Seyong Kim


Elaine Kudo raised in New York City, received her early ballet training at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, later spent six years at the School of American Ballet and was a scholarship student at the American Ballet Theatre School.


Ms. Kudo was a member of American Ballet Theatre from 1975 – 1989 was promoted to soloist in 1981. She danced soloist and principal roles in a wide range of works mostly in the contemporary repertory. She has had the honor of working with choreographers Anthony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Glen Tetley, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Eugene Loring and Sir. Kenneth MacMillan on featured roles in their ballets, and has had roles created for her by Twyla Tharp, Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Chu San Gogh, and David Gordon.


In 1982 Ms. Kudo along with other members of ABT performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy in a group assembled to recreate the Jerome Robbins Company Ballet USA. She also toured extensively during the summer seasons as a member of Baryshnikov & Co. from 1983 – 1986, and was Mr. Baryshnikov’s partner in “Sinatra Suite” and “Push Comes to Shove” in the PBS Great Performances special “Baryshnikov by Tharp”. In 1987 – 88 she joined the Tharp Dance Co. for a national tour and tour of Australia and New Zealand.


Directly after her retirement from the stage in 1990 Ms, Kudo began staging the works of Twyla Tharp, both nationally and abroad, with eight pieces in rotation, she continues to be one of the primary stagers of Tharp repertory.

Ms. Kudo assumed the position of ballet master for the New Jersey Ballet 1994-97 & American Repertory Ballet 1997-2003. Most recently the Washington Ballet from 2011 – 2020.

She with partner Buddy Balough founded and directed Theatre Arts Dance America – located in Verona NJ.  from 1997 through 20I0. In addition to teaching at TADA 

 Ms. Kudo has served on the faculty of the American Ballet Theatre summer intensive program from 1998 – 2003, Ballet Tech, Jacob’s Pillow – Contemporary Traditions in July 2007 as well as guest teacher at Princeton Ballet School and Steps on Broadway in 2011.


Ms. Kudo was given her first opportunity to choreograph at the New Jersey Ballet in 1997. That piece was later staged at the Carolina Ballet for its inaugural season in 1999. She choreographed four ballets for the American Repertory Ballet during her tenure as ballet master. One for director Septime Webre, three as part of director Graham Lustigs’, Dancing Through the Ceiling project designed to promote 

women choreographers. In addition to these works for professional companies she has choreographed a number of solos for her students receiving a choreography award from the Youth America Grand Prix. She has also contributed three ballets for the ABT summer intensive program and five pieces for TWB summer intensive as well as numerous pieces and a Pas de Duex for Theatre Arts Dance America.

Elaine Kudo


Caili Quan is a New York-based choreographer who danced with BalletX from 2013 to 2020. She has created works for BalletX, The Juilliard School, Nashville Ballet, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, and Ballet Academy East. She served as an Artistic Partnership Initiative Fellow and a Toulmin Creator at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. With BalletX she performed new works by Matthew Neenan, Nicolo Fonte, Gabrielle Lamb, Penny Saunders, Trey McIntyre, and danced at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Vail Dance Festival, Belgrade Dance Festival, and DEMO by Damian Woetzel at the Kennedy Center. Mahålang, a short documentary that wove familial conversations of her Chamorro Filipino upbringing on Guam with scenes from BalletX’s Love Letter, was shown at the Hawai’i International Film Festival, CAAMFest, and the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center. Caili is a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School.

Caili Quan


Ashley Thopiah (she/her) received her BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University. She began her dance training at the Christine Rich Dance Academy and furthered her training in summer programs at State Street Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. At Butler, Ashley performed corps, soloist, and principal roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. As a choreographer, Ashley has created two works for Butler University’s dance department, Jyoti and Ekta. Using both modern dance and Bharatanatyam, a form of classical Indian dance, she expresses the two distinct but intertwined aspects of her identity. During the summer of 2018, Ekta was performed in the National Opera House in Warsaw, Poland, across Prague, Krakow, Poznan, and Bratislava. Joining Oakland Ballet in 2019, she created the role of Coffee in The Nutcracker, as well as featured roles in The Birthdays, 4 Parts Jazz by Alyah Baker, Club LC by Bobby Briscoe, and Phil Chan’s Quartet and Seyong Kim’s Duet from Exquisite Corpse.

Ashley Thopiah