Dana Tai Soon Burgess grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a leading American choreographer, dancer and cultural figure known worldwide as the “Diplomat of Dance.”. In 1992, he founded the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company , a preeminent modern dance company based in Washington, DC . As the Company’s Artistic Director, his work explores the idea of cultural “confluence” with many of his dances focusing on the “hyphenated person—someone who is of mixed ethnic or cultural heritage (Dana is Korean American and LGBTQ) and the emotions of belonging and social acceptance.
He has served as a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. State Department for over two decades, an appointment he uses to promote international cultural dialogue through “the global language of dance.”. He has been awarded and completed two Fulbright Senior scholarships for dance.
And since 2016, Burgess has been the Smithsonian Institution’s first-ever Choreographer in Residence. In this role, he creates new works inspired by museum exhibitions (many at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery) and participates in public discussions about dance and art.
Dana has been described by the Washington Post dance critic, Sarah Kaufman as “not only a Washington prize, but a national dance treasure.”
His memoir, “Chino and the Dance of the Butterflies” was recently released by University of New Mexico Press
The Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company is based in Washington, DC and is celebrating its 30th Year Anniversary.