ST. PAUL — With audiences cheering loudly, Minnesota’s third Pan Asian Arts Festival successfully presented unique dance performances at the Landmark Center on May 20. The Festival continues Aug. 17-19 at Concordia College.
Led by Pan Asian Arts Alliance, local Asian American and Pacific Islander arts groups have come together, successfully presented the 3rd Annual Pan Asian Arts Festival, Part I: Festival/Asian Style.
The performance opened with a warm welcome from Ange Hwang, executive director of Asian Media Access. As the third year to organize this Pan Asian Arts Festival, Ange shared the success for the past two years, and truly reflected the enthusiastic support from the arts group to continue the festival this year to showcase the Asian arts to the community.
After the introduction, the 40 dance performances began by Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center (TCCDC). “Beautiful Flower” impressed the audiences with their contemporary Chinese dance style. Followed by “Joyful Union”, the dancers wore special golden and red cultural costumes that performed a powerful dance with waving their red long sleeves. TCCDC concluded their performance with “Blossom Girl” and “The Sky Brightens”.
Dao Lan Dance School presented “Charming Dance of the Peacocks” by Nkauj Ntxuam Dej, and “Fish Dance” by Fireflies, the audience were amazed by the dancers’ beautiful costumes. Then, Mulan Dancers presented “Xav Nug Ib Los – Tell Me Once More” and “Green Dai Dance”, “Butterfly Dance” performed by Paj Ntxuam Nplaim. The Red Hot Pepper presented “The Young Empresses” amazed the audiences by the big golden crown.
School for Indian Language and Culture (SILC) performed “Bihu Dance of Assam Indian”, which was a traditional dance performed by young members with traditional Asia Indian costume. And SILC youth dancers presented “Garba” as a conclusion.
Iny Asian Dance Theater (IADT) performed a new form of “Asian Indian Bollywood Dance” to give audiences a contrast feeling with the traditional Indian dance. Minnesota Sunshine presented “Hmong American Girls”. IADT’s only boy group Hmong Heroes presented “Rice Cake Pounding” that showed the celebration of rice-cake making. Silver Skies presented “Flowers in the Rain”, Rainbow presented “Flower Basket Dance”. And finally Ocean presented “The Little Mermaids”.
Pa Foua Thao Dance Group has several dances includes, “Puas Nco Tau – Romance from the Past” presented by Ntxhais Nplooj Lai Ci, “Tshuav Daim Duab – Only a Picture” by Ntxhais Ci Tshiab, “Xyoob Tshiab – New Year” by Ntxhais Hmoob Kaj Siab, “Pej Cauj Xyooj no Lub us Luaj – Short New Year” by Ntxhais Paj Huab Nra, and Nkauj Hmoob Dhaj Txuj’s “Hmoob Tej Ntxhais – Hmong Daughters”.
Mu Gung Hwa Korean Dance Academy, which focused on traditional dance style. Their Traditional Korean Dance Group presented “Ariang”, “Geommu – Sword Dance”, and “Puppet Dance”. With all traditional Korean costumes and adult dancers and youth dancers performed a traditional and energetic show.
Sansei Yonsei Kai Japanese Children & Adult Dance Group presented by their Traditional Japanese Dance Group includes, “Sakura”, “Taiki Bansei”, “Chieko Yosare”, “4 Short Folk Dances”. All the dances showed the beauty of traditional Japanese Kimono fashion with wonderful dance forms.
With dance performance as the main focus of this year, there are lots of local Asian dance groups joined our performances included, Sumunar Indonesian Dance Ensemble, the Traditional Indonesian Dance Group performed “Merak Subal – Peacock Dance” and “Ratnasari”. Bihu Dance presetned Dhongseng by Papo Mahanta by solo dancer Devika Kataky. Yang Girls’ “Traditional Hmong Dance”.
Hmong Solo Dancer, Wendy Vang presented “Embroidery & the Phoenix of the Miao”. Nritya Kalakshetra Academy of Performing Arts presented “Bharathanatyam Dance”, and “Charishnu” by Solo Dancer Smitha Murthy, and Bharathanatyam Duet Performance by Teacher Sivanuja Balaji and student Smitha Murthy presented “Nandi Chol”.
Nepali Dance, by Renuka Humagai for “Karkalo Baba Kathai Mero Baba”. And finally, led by Pete K. Wong, a special Martial Arts Performance collaborated with Hmong International Academy Students that showed self-defense techniques with traditional Chinese martial arts.
Throughout the delighting performances, the Carnival Game Area was full of fun as well. Diverse carnival games, arts and crafts, face painting, and fun Zodiac Wheel of Luck, children from audiences’ families and youth dancers spent lots of time in the Game Area, and they have got many gifts! The Food Area provided different kinds of Asian food that the audiences could enjoy good food with the good shows.
The next Pan Asian Dance Festival at Concordia College will be a blend of competition, performances, seminars and workshops. This first ever International Festival hosted in St. Paul, is a perfect place for youth and professional dancers from different parts of the world to mix talent in an open and supportive manner. This Festival aims to create and present Pan Asian Dances through nurturing the new generation of dancers and choreographers; popularizing Pan Asian Dances worldwide; and creating a open forum of discussion the tradition verses modernization of Pan Asian Dances.
All dance schools are invited to participate at this exciting event. For information visit www.panasianartsalliance.org, or call +1-612-376-7715.