Celebrating its 25th year, the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company presents a series of free salons in the new international gallery at the National Portrait Gallery, where Burgess is the Smithsonian’s first choreographer-in-residence. Each salon features a dance performance and discussion.
Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden was the honored guest March 3 at the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “Portraits of the World: Switzerland” (on view through Nov. 12) as the company performed dance excerpts that included “For Giulia,” inspired by Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler’s portrait of Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi, “Femme en Extase” (Woman in Ecstasy), on loan in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland.
Dance company members performed excerpts from “Confluence,” one of the company’s new dances inspired by the National Portrait Gallery collection, as well as rarely seen solo dances by choreographer Michio Ito. The series grows out of a long tradition of salons in which dance is performed and discussed in intimate settings.
Portraits of modern dance pioneers, including Martha Graham, Michio Ito, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, are also on view in the gallery.
The performance will be repeated on March 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Seating is on a first-come basis.