San Francisco–based Korean vocalist, dancer, and multi-instrumentalist Dohee Lee returns to YBCA for the world premiere of MU/巫: 9 Goddesses, an immersive ritual theater performance. Through dance, singing, drumming, and intricate costumes inspired by traditional Korean dress, Lee transports audiences on a shamanic journey of ancestral legacies and indigenous resistance, drawing inspiration from the history and myths of her birthplace, the island of Jeju in South Korea.

Lee reclaims deities of old and new myths, reimagining them as nine goddesses of the modern age who embody contemporary ecological, political, economic, and spiritual struggles. Embracing the indigenous teachings of her people, Lee’s performances bring communities together in collective action, balancing disparate facets of humanity, society, nature, and spirituality in a work designed to connect audiences with their ancestors, their community, and the natural world.

Commissioned by YBCA and the Hewlett 50 Arts Commission in Music, MU/巫: 9 Goddesses is the culminating performance of a multiyear series of community rituals involving immigrant and refugee participants. The show features Dohee Lee in solo sections interspersed with movements incorporating as many as thirty community performers onstage, including CoRazOn, a collective of immigrant heritage artist-activists honoring matriarchal ancestral wisdom through ritual as performance; Ieumsae, an organization of Korean drummers connecting with their cultures and identities through traditional pungmul drumming; and the Storytellers Bhutanese-Nepali Youth Ensemble, a group of young refugees resettled in East Oakland dedicated to sharing their stories to embrace their roots and build a new home through community.

Dohee Lee first presented at YBCA during the 2008–09 season with the world premiere of FLUX, a sonic and visual exploration of the philosophy of the I Ching. In the 2014–15 season YBCA commissioned Lee to create several seasonal rituals, leading to the world premiere of MAGO, a multidisciplinary performance piece combining music, installation, animation, dance, and audience participation.

YBCA Forum

Ticket Info

Tickets on sale soon

Performance Dates

Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 7:30 PM

Friday, May 22, 2020 at 7:30 PM

Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 7:30 PM