This weekend, October 15-17, Augusta Ballet presented our first-ever Dance Lyceum. The series featured four events for a variety of audiences and featured renowned choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess.
Burgess, the founding artistic director of Washington, DC's premiere modern dance company Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Co., spoke at an intimate salon luncheon hosted by Sutton Stracke at her elegant Summerville home, and Mary Linda Lamar, Lee West and Tara Rice Simkins. Stracke also hosted a trunk show on October 13 featuring designer Amber Sakai. A percentage of proceeds from sales of Amber Sakai Collection pieces will benefit Augusta Ballet.
Burgess also addressed residents of Brandon Wilde Retirement Community in a private presentation, which included a live demonstration by DTSB company dancer Christin Arthur and video excerpts from, "Tracings," a work evoking Burgess' personal family history. Burgess' ancestors were among the first 100 families to escape Korea in 1903 and come to the U.S. by way of Hawaii, where they lived as indentured plantation workers.
Dance students from across the CSRA attended Burgess' master classes, held at Davidson Fine Arts and incorporating both classical ballet and contemporary movement. The Lyceum concluded with a public presentation at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library downtown. In a raffle, Davidson freshman, dance student Takyra Chambers won a ballet bag donated by local dance supply shop Tutus and Dance Shoes.
Augusta Ballet acknowledges with deep gratitude, the contributions of the hosts and sponsors who made this Dance Lyceum possible. We thank Dana Tai Soon Burgess for educating and enriching our community. We look forward to presenting many more visiting artists in Augusta, starting with Dance Theatre of Harlem in January 2016.
I would also like to personally acknowledge the long days, evenings and weekends that our staff Larry Baratto and Melanie Rivera have spent working to make our first-ever Dance Lyceum a success. - Marin Rose, Artistic Chair, Augusta Ballet Board of Trustees