Press Release: DTSBDC Announces 25th Anniversary Season

This story was published by on December 15, 2016


CONTACT: Janice L. Kaplan, 202-277-5461 or

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company Announces 25th Anniversary Season

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In 2017-2018, Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC) marks its 25th anniversary with performances, master classes, an international tour, and two world premieres at the National Portrait Gallery, where Burgess is the Smithsonian’s first ever choreographer-in-residence. The milestone is possible thanks to generous support from individual and organizational donors.

The anniversary season kicks off in March 2017 in the choreographer’s hometown, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and will culminate with a spring 2018 performance at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

“Over the past 25 years, I’ve seen Dana and his company grow into what Washington Post dance critic Sarah Kaufman has called ‘not only a Washington prize, but a national dance treasure,’” said DTSBDC Board President Bonnie Kogod. “The son of a Irish-German-Scottish father and Korean-American mother, Dana’s choreography focuses on such topics as identity, heritage, belonging, and what it means to be a hyphenated American – themes that are both personal and universal, and that have renewed relevance given the current political conversation in this country.”

New Mexico Tour

In March, Burgess will return to New Mexico, where childhood martial arts classes led to his interest in movement and, ultimately, a degree in dance from the University of New Mexico.

DTSBDC’s March 18 performance at 730 p.m. at The Dance Barns (1140 Alto Street, Santa Fe) will raise funds for NDI New Mexico, which was founded with the knowledge that the arts have the power to engage and motivate children. “NDI New Mexico didn’t exist when I was growing up,” says Burgess. “Today, youth of many backgrounds are benefitting from this important statewide resource that uses dance to build character.”

The performance will be preceded by a private reception with special guests including Mayor Javier M. Gonzales. On March 14 and 15 from 5 to 7 p.m., DTSBDC will hold master classes for NDI New Mexico students. For information visit or 505-795-7088.

On March 21 at 7:30 p.m., DTSBDC will perform at the University of New Mexico’s Carlisle Performance Space in Albuquerque. The event will raise funds for the university’s dance department. For information, visit In both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, the company will perform “Leaving Pusan,” “Margin” and “Confluence.”

Smithsonian Residency

As the Smithsonian’s choreographer-in-residence, “Dana’s work is bringing both modern dance and visual art to a broader audience and ultimately enriching the life of the museum and its many visitors,” said museum director Kim Sajet. Burgess has a long history of partnering with museums including the National Gallery of Art, Corcoran Gallery and The Kreeger Museum.

At the National Portrait Gallery, he will create a new dance inspired by “The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now” exhibition (opening April 7) and a dance inspired by “One Life: Sylvia Plath” (opening June 30). World premieres of the new dances will be held at the museum on July 8 and in the fall, respectively. Leading up to the performances, the company will hold open rehearsals in the museum to provide visitors a window into the choreographer’s creative process. The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and F Streets N.W. Visit

A portrait of Dana by the Korean American artist CYJO is part of the Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection and has been displayed alongside portraits of Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Sonia Sotomayor and Serena Williams, among other luminaries at the top of their fields.

International Tour
As a U.S. Department of State Cultural Ambassador, Burgess and his company have toured to more than 30 countries over more than two decades. “Contemporary dance has the capacity to bring different cultures together in the shared language of movement,” says the choreographer. An international tour to Panama is tentatively scheduled for fall 2017.
Kennedy Center Performance

The 25th anniversary will culminate in a performance at The Kennedy Center in the spring of 2018 featuring dances from the company’s repertoire.

About Dana Tai Soon Burgess
Washington, D.C.’s foremost modern dance choreographer, Burgess has been described by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post dance critic Sarah Kaufman as “poet laureate of Washington dance.” He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and The George Washington University, where he serves as chair of the Department of Theater and Dance. The company manages the dance program at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia; offers a Summer Dance Intensive at Georgetown Day School in the District; and public classes at Glen Echo Park in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition, DTSBDC has performed across the U.S. and around the world, including at the White House at the request of President and Mrs. Obama. For more information visit or 202-497-2436.

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