Filipino-American Joan Ayap stars in one of the compelling dance performances showcased by the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC) at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex in the evening of 28 February 2019.
WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Philippine Embassy and the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC) co-hosted a dance performance and cocktail reception to foster cultural understanding between Filipinos and Americans during the Embassy’s celebration of Philippine National Arts Month on 28 February 2019 at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building.
The event was the first collaboration between the Embassy and the DTSBDC, Washington’s leading modern dance company. Guests were treated to modern Philippine design and cuisine after the mesmerizing performance of DTSBDC dancers. One of the dancers, Joan Ayap, was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the Philippines. She trained under the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet and the Philippine Ballet Theatre Conservatoire. She is currently on faculty at Georgetown Day School and CityDance.
DTSBDC Artistic Director and Choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess said, “The dance company was pleased to present four dances that highlight the diversity of our repertoire as well as showcased one of our lead dancers, Joan Ayap who is Filipina American. She is a wonderful example of the friendship between our two nations.”
“Dance is a universal language that builds bridges of understanding and friendship. Guests were deeply impressed to experience contemporary dance at the Chancery. The modern interior architecture of the building made for the perfect backdrop to enjoy the dance performance and the large audience was completely enthusiastic about seeing the dances,” he added.
In his welcome remarks, Embassy Charge d’Affaires (CDA) Patrick Chuasoto expressed the warm wishes of Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez and introduced several pieces of Philippine modern art inside the historic Chancery Annex Building. These were the mural by Dominic Rubio, hanging lamps by Kenneth Cobonpue, and furniture by Ann Pamintuan.
“We hope that tonight’s event will make you want to know more not only about Philippine arts, but more importantly, about our culture and people, and what connects all of us,” CDA Chuasoto said.
After the event, DTSBDC Board President Bonnie Kogod issued the following statement: “It was an honor to join with the Embassy of the Philippines in celebration of their country’s National Arts Month. A big part of the mission of the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company is to create work that illuminates our diverse cultural landscape. It is our hope to build bridges that connect us all through shared human experiences. Last night was an opportunity to highlight the artistic and cultural parallels between our two countries through food, visual art and dance.”
Ambassador Romualdez, in a separate statement, thanked DTSBDC for partnering with the Embassy.
“I wish to thank and congratulate the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company for a wonderful performance at the Philippine Embassy. Our partnership greatly contributes to the strength of our people-to-people ties,” the Ambassador said.
DTSBDC has a long history of artistic dialogue and partnerships with such organizations as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, NASA, the U.S. State Department, the Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, Kreeger Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and other world-renowned museums. The company was named the first resident dance company of the Smithsonian beginning in 2015. DTSBDC creates new works at the National Portrait Gallery inspired by its exhibitions.
Filipinos all over the world observe National Arts Month (NAM) every February, per Proclamation 683, in 1991 entitled “Declaring the Month of February of every year as National Arts Month” ###