Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
Dancer and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess wants people to rethink the term “Asian-American.” His dance company, Moving Forward, made up of dancers of many Asian ethnicities, has been exploring issues of cultural hybridism since 1990. Last year, he researched and reconstructed several dances by Japanese choreographer Michio Ito, whose work is almost forgotten despite his tremendous influence on contemporary American dance. Burgess’ latest project, “Asians in the Americas,” crosses yet another border—the one with Canada. As curator of the festival, he’ll bring to D.C. two northern counterparts—Denise Fujiwara and Mariko Tanabe, both third-generation Japanese-Canadians—to join him and fellow Korean-American dancer, Peggy Choy. The festival’s quartet of solos also encompasses stylistic diversity. Tanabe, a former member of Erik Hawkins Dance Company, will perform “New Creation,” about a woman’s dark side, and Burgess (pictured) will present the Washington premiere of The Supplicant, drawn from religious images culled during time he spent in Venezuela. Fujiwara, whose solo was choreographed by Natsu Nakajima, draws on Japanese Butoh theater forms, while Choy, whose work is often political in nature, will perform two excerpts, “Un Chong Kerr” and “Seung Hwa,” from a longer work about the Korean comfort women. While the dances may seem disparate, a thread of introspection runs through each of the pieces, making for a more complicated whole that challenges the definition not only of “Asian-American” but of “art” as well. At 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $12. (202) 269-1600. (Holly Bass)