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Ancestry, Artistry, Choreography: Exhibition Opening Reception and Performance

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. proudly presents “Ancestry, Artistry, Choreography,” a new exhibition that tells the story of the rise of Korean-American choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess to international prominence by tracing his cultural heritage and how it has influenced his acclaimed work, through historic memorabilia and photography of his company's 22-year history.

The opening event on Friday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. includes a free performance by the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, Washington, D.C,’s premier contemporary dance company, as well as remarks by the choreographer and a public reception. Admission is free, but an RSVP is required (below). On view through Nov. 30.

Ancestry, Artistry, Choreography:
WHAT: Photography exhibition, dance performance, remarks, opening reception
WHEN: Opening: Friday, Nov. 7 @ 6:30 p.m. | Exhibition Dates: Nov. 7 – 30
WHERE: Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. | 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW
RSVP: 

UPDATE: The opening reception event has reached full capacity and is no longer accepting RSVPs! Please visit the exhibition through Nov. 30. 

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About the Exhibition
The exhibit explores the history of Burgess’ family through such artifacts as his grandfather’s 1903 passport, photos representing four generations of family members, pastel paintings by his father and watercolor and ink works by his mother. Also on view are 25 large photos of DTSB Dance Company taken during its 22-year history, costumes and props used in performance, and video of Burgess’ work, “Tracings,” which tells the story of his great-grandmother’s decision to leave Korea and begin a new life. 

Family History
Dana Tai Soon Burgess grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the son of visual artists Joseph James Burgess Jr. and Anna Kang Burgess. His ancestors on his mother’s side were among the first Koreans to settle in America when they arrived in Hawaii from Korea in 1903. His great-grandfather Chin Hyung Chai (on his maternal grandmother’s side) arrived in 1903 aboard the Gaelic, which was known as the “first ship,” and his great-grandfather Man Soon Kang (on his maternal grandfather’s side) arrived in 1904 on the ship Manchuria. In Hawaii, they became plantation workers. 

About Dana Tai Soon Burgess
Founded in 1992, Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company is Washington, D.C,’s premier contemporary dance company. Burgess has been described by Washington Post dance critic Sarah Kaufman as “not only a Washington prize, but a national dance treasure” and “poet laureate of Washington dance.” Having grown up as the son of an Irish-Scottish-German-American father from upstate New York and a Korean-American mother from Hawaii, Burgess has a personal interest in issues of identity, immigration, belonging, and cultural acceptance.

For 22 years, Burgess has exposed audiences around the world to his unique fusion of contemporary dance, ballet lines, martial arts style and gesture and visual arts, receiving critical acclaim for synthesizing Eastern and Western aesthetics. 

In addition to his dance company, Burgess is chair of The George Washington University’s Department of Theatre and Dance and founder of the DTSB Dance Company’s Asian American Youth Program, which mentors D.C. high school students of Asian heritage. In 2013-2014, he served at the Smithsonian’s first ever choreographer-in-residence at the National Portrait Gallery, where his portrait was displayed in the exhibit, “Dancing the Dream,” alongside modern dance pioneers such as Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham and contemporary masters Twyla Tharp and Mark Morris. His portrait was also part of the exhibit, “Asian American Portraits of Encounter.” The choreographer has served for two decades as a U.S. State Department cultural ambassador, traveling with his company to Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Panama, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela, among other places.

For more information, contact 202-297-2436 or visit www.dtsbdc.org, follow the company on Twitter @dtsbdc or become a friend on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DTSBDC