Founder & Artistic Director
Nobuko is a artist who uses music, theater and dance for her own work as well as for projects she creates with communities.
Originally a dancer on Broadway and in films such as Flower Drum Song and West Side Story, her involvement in social change movements of the ‘60s galvanized her as an activist and inspired a re-conceptualization of her role as an artist. This led to her co-creation of the seminal Asian American album A Grain of Sand with Chris Iijima and Charlie Chin, and her founding of Great Leap in 1978.
Her later performances, musicals and albums have continued to probe themes of identity, as well as the intersections of cultures & faiths, and our connection with Earth. More recent projects include her touring lecture/performance What Can A Song Do?, and producing, songwriting and performing in Great Leap’s series of environmental music videos, “Eco-Vids”.
Nobuko has been recognized with the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award, and California Arts Council Director’s Award for her contribution to the arts in California.
Associate Artistic Director
Dan is an award-winning multimedia performance artist, playwright, visual artist and teacher who has been presenting his solo work nationally and internationally since 1989.
His works combine personal narrative with historical context to explore the many facets of social identity. His book, From Inner Worlds to Outer Space: The Multimedia Performances of Dan Kwong (University of Michigan Press) was published in 2004, and the significance of his work has been noted in A History of Asian American Theatre (Cambridge Univ. Press).
Since 1990 he has been affiliated with Great Leap where he manages and performs in A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Greens, is Project Director of COLLABORATORY, and Director & Editor of the Eco-Vids series.
Operations and Marketing Associate
Angela has been collaborating with Great Leap since 2013.
Her specialties include online marketing, creations of prints, consumers products, web, social media, video production, graphic design, etc. She has been supporting Great Leap with her passion for design, videography, event planning, community and arts.
Originally from France and the Cape Verdean Islands, she holds a BA in Public Relations and MA in Media Arts from Wayne State University.
In her spare time, Angela loves to dance, listen to music and organize dance festivals/workshops in Los Angeles and Mexico.
Great Leap Associates: