MINNEAPOLIS — In kicking off the Bicultural Active Living Lifestyle (BALL) Campaign, Asian Media Access (AMA) and Iny Asian Dance Theater (IADT) join hands to showcase the first ever Hmong Dance Drama – Longing for Qeej at both Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul, to help the communities to recognize the beauty of the cultural exercises.
July 19 (Sunday), 5:30pm at
Central Park Frank Rog Amphitheater
2540 Lexington Ave. N
Roseville, MN 55113
July 23 (Thurs), 7:00pm at
Outside of Asian Media Access, on the Plymouth Ave.
2418 Plymouth Ave. N.,
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Both events are FREE and as part of Asian Media Access’ BALL strategy to emphasis on bicultural healthy living by utilizing cultural pride and parent involvement as motivations for youth to be proud of themselves, and exercise more through cultural exercises. By wearing beautiful costume, listening to traditional music, stepping into ancient footsteps, it gives youth a sense of self-esteem, and cultural identity other sports may not offer, along with strong parents’ support in preserving the cultural traditions. Therefore, both AMA and IADT have supported youth learning/performing Asian dances as a way to live healthier in a bicultural environment.
Longing for Qeej will be performed by Iny Asian Dance Theater’s 109 dancers, which is a dance drama adapted from Hmong folktale portraying the origin of Qeej – a traditional Hmong music instrument, a mouth organ with six bamboo pipes of different lengths attached to a wooden air chamber. Hmong believes that Qeej can communicate between the heaven and the earth, the living and the dead. One of the opening mysterious dance – the Dragon Dance will be performed by Iny Asian Dance Theater’s most advanced group – MN Sun Shine. The team has long history of winning titles of Hmong New Year Dance Competition. Not only the dance includes a beautiful dragon head with matching gold/red masks, MN Sun Shine dancers has also performed this powerful dance with explosive physical capacities along with beautiful costume, and refreshing Asian music.
This is not the first time Iny Asian Dance Theater brought the Hmong dances/folklore to the broader audience. Led and Choreographed by Acclaimed Hmong Artist, Iny Xiong, Iny Asian Dance Theater has successfully served more than 200 students annually. Its mission is to broaden students’ ability and general public’s appreciation of Asian Dances through teaching and performance, and their major projects include: 1) Bringing the Asian Traditional Dances to Life, with a special focus on Asian Indian, Chinese, Hmong, Laotian and Thai dances through weekly dance classes and community engagement performances; 2) Sharing Asian cultures and talents with mainstream audience to build a better community of appreciation of diverse arts with Annual Recital and newly created Dance Drama Performance series. Currently, Iny Asian Dance Theater has 13 different levels and ages groups.
Both performances are outdoor, please bring your lawn chairs to enjoy a 2-hours Asian dances you have never seen before. This unique project is sponsored by the MN State Arts Board (which that was created by a vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov., 2008); Minnesota Department of Education; Roseville Parks and Recreation; and Minneapolis Roseville Parks and Recreation.