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10,000 Dreams

A Celebration of Asian Choreography at Kennedy Center

Why 10,000 Dreams? 10,000 is the “biggest” number in many Asian languages—suggesting a number so large it is almost uncountable!

A blossoming initiative to recognize and elevate Asian creatives working in ballet will grace Kennedy Center stages as a weeklong festival from June 18-23, 2024! 10,000 Dreams: A Celebration of Asian Choreography shines the spotlight on Asian and Asian American choreographers, who represent their cultural heritages from the countries and regions of Singapore, China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and more. Purchase tickets here.

Curated by the Kennedy Center and Phil Chan, a Kennedy Center Next 50 leader and co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface, this celebration will feature two mixed repertory programs—and a special one-night-only tribute performance on Friday evening—of works all by Asian choreographers, including several new premieres.

The Washington Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Singapore Ballet, Goh Ballet featuring dancers from the National Ballet of China, Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, Ballet West, and Houston Ballet will be joining the festivities.

The one-night-only tribute performance on Friday evening will have a special focus on the late Choo San Goh, who Chan believes “should be recognized as a great American choreographer and a trailblazer for our community.” A Singaporean-born choreographer of Chinese descent who died in 1987 at the age of 39, Goh served as resident choreographer for Washington Ballet for nearly a decade, contributing works to American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, Paris Opera, the Royal Danish Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Boston Ballet, among many others companies around the world.

This festival serves as an extension of Final Bow for Yellowface/Gold Standard Arts Foundation, with a shared mission of making ballet more inclusive. Conceived in 2017 following a meeting with NYCB's former Artistic Director Peter Martins about Asian stereotypes in The Nutcracker, the globally recognized initiative works to “replace caricature with character”—to speak up against Yellowface on ballet stages and create Asian representations that are culturally meaningful and engaging to all audiences.