Dance to Suriname!
Organized by: Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company
EVENT DATE Aug 21, 2014
As a dance company that explores identity and the search for belonging, we are so excited to be invited through the U.S. State Department to spend 10 days in Suriname to teach, perform and research its history, its people and its stories.
Suriname is an incredibly interesting and unique country. Diverse in language, religion and culture, it is filled with many stories.
I need your help to make my next 'story', which I will choreograph and premiere at a performance in Washington, DC as a result of this tour. We are very excited to continue cross-cultural dialogue through the global language of dance!
Your support will mean so much!
The Diplomats of Dance Society (http://dancediplomats.blogspot.com) is organizing a fundraising event for August 21st at the Sofitel Lafayette Square in D.C. in support of our tour!
- $1-24: Get a shoutout on DTSBDC's Twitter and Facebook!
- $25-49: (the above and) a postcard from Suriname signed by Dana and the dancers!
- $50-99: (the above and) an invitation for one to an upcoming VIP cocktail party for the dance company and supporters in Washington, DC!
- $100-249: (the above and) one additional invitation (total of two) to an upcoming VIP cocktail party for the dance company and supporters in Washington, DC!
- $250-499: (the above and) a DTSBDC T-shirt, and invitations - for two - to a private rehearsal of Dana's next work-in-progress, as well as VIP reserved seating (for up to four, with ticket purchase) at an upcoming performance!
- $500-999: (the above and) listing in the programs at all upcoming performances for one year, and two complimentary VIP tickets to a DTSBDC show in Washington, DC!
- $1000+: (the above and) two additional complimentary VIP performance tickets (total of four) with reserved seating (with ticket purchase), and backstage passes for four VIP guests!
*All donations are tax-deductible to the full extant allowed by law.
About Dana and Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company:
Dana Tai Soon Burgess (Artistic Director and Choreographer) is currently the first-ever Smithsonian choreographer-in-residence at the National Portrait Gallery, where his dance company’s rehearsal process has been publicly observed by dance fans, tourists and internet audiences around the world since July of 2013. He has created two new dance works (“Homage” and “Confluence”) that have premiered there as part of the first Smithsonian exhibition on American dance, entitled “Dancing the Dream”. His portrait hangs in the gallery alongside modern dance pioneers such as Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. Prior to this residency, Burgess’s piece “Revenant Elegy” premiered at the National Gallery of Art. Both “Revenant Elegy” and “Homage” were presented at the Kennedy Center in February of 2014. In May of 2013 Burgess and his dance company performed at the White House at the invitation of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the president’s celebration of Asian American Heritage Month, where he was also asked to speak about his creative process. Last year The Washington Post said of the company: “…not only a Washington prize, but a national dance treasure.” Burgess has been hailed as “the poet laureate of Washington dance” by the Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic Sarah Kaufman.
Burgess founded DTSBDC in 1992, and it is currently Washington, D.C.’s leading contemporary dance company. Its mission is to create and perform new contemporary dance choreography that sensitively illuminates our multi-faceted American landscape using a unique East-West choreographic aesthetic. DTSBDC’s repertory focuses on identity in the context of historical events and personal stories, thereby bridging cultures and connecting shared human experiences. The company is unique in that its dancers have such diverse backgrounds as: Columbian, Chilean, Irish, Korean, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese and Peruvian. The company’s cultural diversity brings a unique aesthetic that informs the choreography and the stories told. Burgess has served as a cultural envoy for the U.S. Department of State for 20 years, which has led to the dance company traveling on State Department-sponsored tours to such countries as Peru, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, Korea, China, India, Mongolia, Venezuela, Germany, Latvia, Ecuador, Pakistan, Panama, Mexico and Cambodia, among others.
Burgess’s work has toured to over 70 American cities and been performed at venues such as La Mama, the United Nations headquarters in New York, The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, National Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center, the Asia Society and the Lincoln Center Out of Doors, among many others. Burgess’s choreography has been commissioned by the such organizations as The Kennedy Center, Ballet Memphis and the National Ballet of Peru. He received the Pola Nirenska Award in 2003, the Mayor’s Award for Artistic Excellence in 2004, two Senior Fulbrights in 2006 and 2008 as well as his seventh Artist Fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2014. His company has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation.
DTSBDC has a long history of artistic dialogue and partnerships with such organizations as the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA), the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, D.C. Public Schools, The George Washington University and other universities, and the Smithsonian Institution. In addition to performing, the company operates two city-wide educational programs through DTSBDC Asian American Youth that work with underserved high school students in grades 9 through 12 to mentor them on healthy living and provide opportunities for artistic exploration.
Burgess was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by parents who are both visual artists. He was trained by notable dancers, Tim Wengerd and Judith Bennahum. Also vital to his aesthetic is his training in the Michio Ito technique (developed by the first Asian American choreographer) as well as a childhood career in martial arts. He has taught at the School of the Hamburg Ballet, the National Ballet of Peru, the San Marcos University, Sejong University in Korea, the University of Panama, the Washington Ballet, Georgetown University, George Mason University, and the University of Maryland. He is the Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance at the George Washington University. Burgess is also a Mayoral appointed commissioner who serves on the D.C. Asian Pacific Islander Affairs Commission.
The Smithsonian’s first exhibition on American dance entitled Dancing the Dream, which features DTSBDC, is now on view through July of 2014.