ST. PAUL (May 4, 2014) — Despite the conflict with the Festival of Nations, Pan Asian Arts Festival has successfully hosted at May 4th at Landmark Center, with more than 2,000+ audiences enjoying a feast of Asian dances and Hmong embroidery art exhibition.
Led by Pan Asian Arts Alliance, sponsored by the Landmark Sunday Series, local Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) arts groups have come together to celebrate May Asian heritage month with a whole day family fun – Pan Asian Arts Festival – Festival/Asian Style at the Landmark Center.
With more than 300 dancers in beautiful costume, featuring non-stop of traditional dances from Asian Indian, Chinese, Dai, Hmong, Indonesian, Japanese, Mongolian, Silk Road, Thailand, Tibetan, Yi, and more.
This year’s festival featured a few new Additions, including Peking Opera, and a 45-minute version of Pan Asian Dance Drama – YIYUSA. The Peking Opera piece is the “Blue Snake”, performed by Sasha Zutu from the Legacy Performance School was also new.
This Blue Snake dance is a revised version of the famous Chinese folk story: “The tale of the White Snake Madam” and combines Chinese Peking Opera and Chinese martial arts in the performance. In the legend, the White Snake Madam was a powerful Snake God that fell in love with a human doctor named Xu Xian.
Xu Xian wanted to open a medical clinic for the better health of his home town village. To grant her husband’s wish, the White Snake Madam sent her sister, Blue Snake, to steal money from a corrupt official. Peking plays are mostly based upon folklore, where each movement expresses a part of the story in sync with the music.
Modern Peking Opera use more modern costume and increased movements. Peking Opera traditionally includes song and speech, dance-acting, and finally, combat style acrobatics. Chinese Peking Opera is a form of traditional Chinese theater, which incorporates music, vocal performance, and dance. This honorable art form became well known and earned its title as the cultural treasure of China during the Qing Dynasty. The tradition and practice is still preserved today in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Taiwan.
Another highlight of the Festival is a 45 minute version of the Pan Asian Dance Drama YIYUSA. This local created YIYUSA utilizes multi-media, interweaving acrobatics and traditional Asian Dances, to re-tell an ancient Asian mystery.
Directed by Kang Vang, Music Composed by Chaochi Ly, Choreographed by Iny Mai Vang Xiong (Artistic Director of IADT), YIYUSA adapts a traditional folklore, incorporates graceful dance movements and enhances group formations to present this breathtaking story between good and evil, heaven and earth.
Iny Asian Dance Theater has a long history of earning 1st place titles at yearly Hmong New Year dance competitions. The Dance Troupe is famous for its explosive physical capabilities along with beautiful costumes using traditional and contemporary music from different Asian regions.
With newly composed music score, top Asian performing artists, more than 40 newly choreographed dances, along with 200+ dancers. The next performance will be at the Roseville Central Park on Sunday, July 13, from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. This is one performance you don’t want to miss.
The newest Asian Snack – Jello Chinese Koi Fish is another big hit, with its beautiful layers of colors, and cute fish shapes, catches everyone’s attention. The Festival successfully closed around 5pm, many audiences request photos with dancers, picking up their Hmong needle art works, and one kid’s question at the closure representing all audiences’ wish – “why can you have more dances?” We just can’t seem to have enough of these beautiful costumes, and great dance performances.
This event is made possible by National Endowment for the Arts, MN State Arts Board, and Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and Target Foundation, and is part of the Landmark Sunday Series. For more Pan Asian Dance Performances information, please contact: [email protected], 612-376-7715 www.panasianartsalliance.org or [email protected]