Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance – National Portrait Gallery Event
We had one of the most beautiful experiences I think we have ever had with the FSGW Academy on April 19, 2014, as we were graced with the magnificent performance of the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company at the National Portrait Gallery. We entered a light filled atrium of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard and sat entranced as the dancers produced a masterpiece performance based on the theme of life’s various conflicts. It is hard to put into words the emotionally dynamic visions and music that we embraced. We could feel the intensity of life’s many experiences as the dance unfolded. It may be best to paragraph the words of the choreographer, Mr. Burgess, himself from his event program:
Mr. Burgess was invited to serve in 2013-2014 as the Smithsonian Institution’s first ever choreographer-in-residence, in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery’s “Dancing the Dream” exhibition. Amy Henderson, the exhibition’s curator, recognized it was an integral part of the exhibition to have a dance company in the museum’s galleries. Mr. Burgess’ newest work is entitled Confluence. It was an abstract group work in four sections that explores the psychological terrain of brief encounters, or trysts. These meetings ebb and flow, revealing an underlying inter-connectedness among the group of 10 dancers. The emotional tone of the dance is neither happy nor sad, but rather is resides in an uneasy, tentative place where trust is difficult to discern.
We were thrilled when Mr. Burgess took the time to meet with us personally following the program to answer questions and elaborate on the artistry that makes such a performance so powerful. He gave us a chance to see how dance can convey those thoughts and feelings we have in life that can be hard to put into words but are understood through the fluid and flawless movements of dance. We want to give special thanks to Mr. Jameson Freeman and Ms. Conici Blount for making this event possible for all of us. We see ourselves growing leaps and bounds in our cultural awareness as we partake in these events in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. Wow!