Dana’s Interview with Mixed Asia Media

You know that feeling you get when you indulge in a piece of work that resonates with you so much that it fills you with the warmth of hugging a dear friend? That’s how I felt reading Korean American choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess’s memoir, Chino and the Dance of the Butterfly. I caught myself audibly gasping, laughing, and shedding tears throughout — reading Burgess’s words felt almost therapeutic. Being a mixed-race Korean American dancer and aspiring choreographer myself, I found a sense of home in Burgess’s story.

When I had the opportunity to talk with Dana Tai Soon Burgess about his memoir, artistic process, and advice to young artists, that feeling only blossomed. Burgess has been a leading force in the modern dance world and beyond — he holds multiple honors and awards (including the Selma Jeanne Cohen Award), the Smithsonian Institution has named him their first choreographer-in-residence, and his renowned company (Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Co.) performed for President Obama and his administration in the White House.

Embodying the vulnerability of his memoir and the grace of his choreography, Burgess was a delight to speak with.

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