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Daily Drip

Kickstart This: Luka Yuanyuan Yang’s Doc On a Senior Asian American Dance Troupe

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Luka Yuanyuan Yang’s first feature-length documentary sounds like a blast. A musical road movie hopping from San Francisco to Hawaii to Havana and to Shanghai, Women’s World follows Cynthia Yee and her dance troupe Grant Avenue Follies for “a trip down memory lane of the history of Chinese American audiovisual culture.”

Grant Avenue Follies is a San Francisco-based group where “the majority of the members are single women in their twilight years” and features the late “Coby Yee, the 92 year old legendary dancer who is the star of the group.”

The documentary is a timely “tribute to the Chinese female entertainers who were silenced” and “is a contemporary reflection of Esther Eng’s now-lost 1939 film It’s a Women’s World, the world’s first all-Chinese-female-cast film,” according to the description on the project’s Kickstarter page, where Yang is currently seeking funding to complete the film.

The page goes on to state that, “This is not only a story about Chinese Americans, but about bridging the two worlds. By telling a transnational and intergenerational story between a group of senior show girls and Luka as a younger female director, the film hopes to reclaim the forgotten connections between the two communities, especially in a world that is rapidly divided these days.”

Yang is a Beijing-born director who recently had a spin-off short from this project spotlighted by The New Yorker:

Women’s World is currently in post-production, but the team behind it needs your help if they are to achieve their goal of bringing this story to audiences in 2022. Head to Kickstarter to back it, where pledges begin from just 5USD.

Cover photo courtesy Luka Yuanyuan Yang

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.