George Washington University’s Dana Tai Soon Burgess, chair of the university’s Department of Theatre and Dance (TRDA), will lead a group of artists and educators to Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital, to lead students in intensive training in American contemporary dance.
The five-member dance ensemble, including two dancers who are also members of the TRDA faculty, will hold master classes for Mongolian students of all levels from March 11 to 21. Burgess is the founder of Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Co., a Washington-based Asian-American contemporary dance company, and an overall cultural ambassador for the arts.
“Contemporary dance has the capacity to bring different cultures together in the shared language of movement,” Burgess says. “I have always been interested in Mongolia as my concentrations in college were Asian studies and dance. There have been only a handful of contemporary American dancers to work in Mongolia ever.”
Burgess’ excursion is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia and the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Burgess has completed more than 20 international tours, including trips to Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, Peru, and India. This year, TRDA professors Connie Lin Fink and Kelly Moss Southall and GW alumna Sarah Halzack will accompany Burgess.
Twenty students from the ninth grade to university level, most from rural Mongolia, will take class and view a performance by DTSB & Co. Eight dancers from Tumen Ekh Ensemble of Ulan Bator will join the American company in a dance choreographed by Burgess. More information can be found at www.dtsbco.com or www.theatredance.gwu.edu.