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Portraits Alive Open Access

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Portraits Alive is a documentary thesis project for New Media Photojournalism Master of Arts program in the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design of The George Washington University. It presents the relationship between dances and physical art exhibitions. This projects documents Dana Tai Soon Burgess, who is the first choreographer-in-residence at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and his dancers’ process of “transferring” exhibitions into dances in Washington, D.C. This project includes written essays, photographs, a documentary film, community engagement events and a website. Each part of this projects explores the creative process in the Burgess’s approach to his art creation and storytelling methods. This project combines fine art and documentary story telling elements to deepen the conversation around collaborations between portraits exhibitions and performing arts. Through work such as Burgess’s, audiences are able to offer new contexts and layered interpretations through the format of dances.

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