Who are Diplomats of Dance?

“...not only a Washington prize, but a national dance treasure...”

(Pulitzer Prize-winner Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post) 
The Diplomats of Dance Society is a group of arts supporters who amplify cultural diplomacy through the poetic and ground-breaking work of Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC). With a focus on DTSBDC's international touring as a U.S. State Department cultural envoy, Diplomats support the 'universal language of dance', and the ability of a uniquely American modern dance company to forge meaningful cultural dialogue and have impact at home and abroad. 

In a city that is an international hub as well as the nation's capital, DTSBDC brings a much needed cross-cultural perspective to the arts scene. The company also brings together audiences from not only dance but the visual and musical arts as well.

The Diplomats of Dance Society is an association of professionals and arts-interested individuals who support the work of Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company through events that highlight dance, visual arts and cultural dialogue. DTSBDC has toured to over 30 countries on five continents, representing the US as a State Department cultural envoy and connecting cultures through dance. Because of this, we've coined the term #dancediplomacy.

DTSBDC incorporates multiple artistic disciplines in their work. Their unique movement aesthetic and all-original modern dance choreographies tell stories that cross the barriers of time and culture. Themes exploring our shared human condition have captured audiences around the world. The desire to belong, stories illuminating personal journeys and historical events, as well as inspiration from visual artists, have all informed the choreography. 

Burgess has been called the "poet laureate of Washington dance" and was the Smithsonian’s first-ever choreographer-in-residence at the National Portrait Gallery from 2016-2023. Burgess and his dancers have traveled and taught around the world as a cultural envoy for the U.S. State Department. They have performed in major venues including La Mama, Skirball, the United Nations headquarters in NY, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Kennedy Center, and The White House. DTSBDC is Washington, DC’s pre-eminent modern dance company.

For these reasons and more, DTSBDC is a nexus around which to celebrate the intersections of visual art, movement, and cultural diplomacy.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess with dancer Tati Valle-Riestra.