Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Washington Choreographer's Anti-War Dance 'Images From The Embers' To Be Reprised Tonight In Intimate European Embassy Setting

"Memory is destiny in Dana Tai Soon Burgess's new work, "Images From the Embers," which premiered Friday [March 3, 2006] at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. Throughout the 75-minute work, the chronic pain of lost love fills the stage like smoke, as subtle lighting, dark music and tense, deliberately hesitant movement create a layered impression of mourning.

This work marks a departure for Burgess, a leading figure on the local dance scene. In nearly 15 years of choreography, he generally has avoided current events and trends. As so much of concert dance has tilted toward high-energy athletic output, Burgess has drawn on the languid pace and attention to detail of Japan's Butoh and Noh theater, and has even paid tribute to the outmoded and all-but-forgotten pioneer Michio Ito, a choreographer whose rising influence in the early decades of the last century fell victim to America's anti-Japanese sentiment. And long before Oliver Stone's take, Burgess had examined Alexander the Great's emotional conflicts in a work called "Gandhara."

However, in his newest piece, commissioned by the Washington Performing Arts Society, Burgess tuned in to the zeitgeist. "Images From the Embers" distills the social and political unease about war. The choreographer has said that he drew on French writer Marguerite Duras' World War II-era short stories about moving on after traumatic experiences. But the piece that resulted is steeped in a watchful uncertainty that feels decidedly current." ...

Sarah Kaufman "War's Toll, Leaving Us At a Loss" Washington Post March 6, 2006


Scene from Dana Tai Soon Burgess's "Images from the Embers [2006]"

Photo credit: (c) Mary Noble Ours and www.movingforwarddance.com. With thanks.


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