BAAYORK LEE has lived a life in the performing arts that many could only dream of. Born in New York City’s Chinatown, Baayork has performed as a singer, dancer and actress. Behind the scenes she has worn the hats of choreographer and theatre director.
Baayork Lee made her debut as a dancer on Broadway at the age of five in the 1951 production of The King and I. She met the legendary dancer Michael Bennett at the High School for Performing Arts. Her creative relationship with Michael Bennett endured throughout his life.
In 1975, Baayork Lee was invited by Michael Bennett to participate in the workshops which resulted in the famed musical A Chorus Line, with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. The original Broadway production ran for 6,137 performances. The role of “Connie Wong” was based on Baayork Lee.
Baayork Lee has been one of the loudest voices in the enduring legacy of Michael Bennett’s work. With encouragement from Michael Bennett, Baayork Lee turned to choreography. She has directed many national and international theatrical companies. Ever active, Baayork Lee serves on the Board of Directors of the National Asian Arts Project (NAAP). Most recently, Baayork Lee is choreographing a performance of OLIVER! at the Pershing Square Signature Center June 5-7.
In celebration of the performances, Baayork Lee had a very spirited conversation with us and we hope you can find her enthusiasm as inspiring as we do.