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February 4, 2003                               (202) 994-1423;




Dana Tai Soon Burgess Appears in Photo Exhibit at Museum of Natural History and Prepares for World Premiere of Modern Dance Performance at Kennedy Center


WASHINGTON – Dana Tai Soon Burgess, associate professor of dance at The George Washington University, is prominently featured in the Smithsonian Institution’s celebration of the Korean American Centennial.  His picture is included in a photo exhibition celebrating 100 years of Korean American history, and the Smithsonian has commissioned Burgess and his company, Moving Forward, to create a dance work as part of the centennial celebration.


“I am proud of my heritage and to be associated with the many great Korean Americans included in the Smithsonian’s Korean American Centennial celebration,” said Burgess.  “My mother’s family were some of the first Korean immigrants to land in Hawaii in 1903, so the dance work in particular will have a great personal and artistic meaning for me.”


Burgess is one of three artists featured in the photo exhibition, titled “A Korean American Century.”  The exhibit highlights the history and achievements of Korean Americans in the United States, and exhibit material traces the relationship between Korea and the United States leading up to the initial Korean immigration.  “A Korean American Century” runs from January 22 through August 20 in the Baird Gallery of the National Museum of Natural History, at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. 


Burgess’ modern dance, inspired by his family history, will depict a family’s journey from Korea to the new world.  The world premiere performances will take place at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on November 6 and 7. 


The first Korean immigrants came to Hawaii in 1903.  According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are currently more than one million Korean Americans in the United States.  Northern Virginia is one of the areas with the densest Korean American population, along with Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.


Both the photo exhibition and a pre-performance event for the dance work on October 30 will take place at the Museum of Natural History and are open to the public and free of charge.  These events are two of the many programs and exhibitions presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, in commemoration of the Korean American Centennial.


For more information on the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, visit

For more information on Burgess and his dance company, Moving Forward, visit

For more news about GW, visit the GW News Center at


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