Dana Tai Soon Burgess 30th Anniversary

The Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company will perform an evening of mixed repertory accompanied by live musicians in celebration of their 30th anniversary season at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The performance will take place on November 30th, 2023 at 7:30PM. Works include Transformations, Fractures, A Tribute to Marian Anderson excerpted duet number 1, Surroundings: A Tribute to Maya Lin, and Mandala.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess earned a degree in university studies with specializations in dance and Asian history from The University of New Mexico in 1990. “I had such important formative training at UNM,” he says. “I focused on modern dance but took ballet, jazz, tap, choreography, improv, everything.” A couple of years after graduating, Dana started his dance company.

It’s not surprising that, as an artist committed to exploring social and cultural issues, Dana wanted to give back. In 2018, he and his husband, Jameson Freeman, established the Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Jameson Freeman Endowed Fund for Dance at UNM. It supports student learning and helps cover the costs of bringing guest artists and speakers to the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance.

In May 2023, DTSBDC performed as part of an exhibit with the UNM Art Museum in Albuquerque, premiering a new modern dance entitled “Transformations,” at Keller Hall. During this performance Burgess’ performance explored the collaborative creative space between Dane Rudhyar’s piano score Transmutation, and the abstract and spiritual painted canvases created by the Transcendental Painting Group that formed in Santa Fe and Taos in 1938. In addition, World-renowned Fashion and Textile Designer, Patricia Michaels of Taos Pueblo, and her daughter Margeaux Abeyta, designed the costumes for Transformations.

Over the past 30 years, DTSBDC has become the preeminent modern dance company in the nation’s capital and has toured nationally and internationally. Dana is also the author of a fascinating new memoir, Chino and the Dance of the Butterfly, and is the editor of Milestones in Dance History, a text that reconsiders dance evolution from a global perspective. He is also the Smithsonian Institution’s first-ever Choreographer-in-Residence at the National Portrait Gallery. Since 2016, Dana has created new dance works based on and inspired by museum exhibitions.

“It’s my specialty,” he says. Creating dance works in a museum is a natural extension of his upbringing surrounded by visual art. “I’ve always looked at the stage as a canvas; the dancers are brushstrokes.” In addition, Dana has received the 2018 Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize and two Fulbright dance scholarships. He has served as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department and has been honored for promoting understanding of different cultures through the universal language of dance.

To purchase tickets for the November 30th, 2023 performance at The Kennedy Center, please visit: https://www.kennedy-center.org/whats-on/explore-by-genre/dance/2023-2024/dana-tai-soon-burgess-dance-company-30th-anniversary/

To learn more about Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, please visit: https://dtsbdc.org

To learn more about giving opportunities to support the Department of Theatre & Dance, please contact Kristine Purrington, Senior Director of Development for the College of Fine Arts, at kristine.purrington@unmfund.org or Shelly Smith, Director of Development for the College of Fine Arts, at shelly.smith@unmfund.org