Deep Roots, Lush Leaves – Transformation of Hmong Dance in Minnesota

Deep Root, Lush Leaves – Transformation of Hmong Dance in Minnesota


Only by Deepening the Roots, We Can Expect the Lush Leaves.”

~ Dr. Nengher N. Vang

The “Deep Root, Lush Leaves – Transformation of Hmong Dance in MinnesotaMultimedia Exhibition is presented from June 1st to July 28, 2013 at the  University of MN Urban Research and Outreach Center  (UROC) Gallery (2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis MN 55411).  A series of events will be hosted throughout this 2 months of exhibition:

1. Multimedia Gallery Exhibition and Opening Reception

Date: June 27th (Thursday), 2013, 5pm – 8pm

FREE and open to the public

5pm * Opening Reception

6pm * Exhibition Introduction and Asian Dance Performance

2. Hmong Costume Fashion Show and Discussion Panel

Date: July 27th (Saturday), 2013, noon -3pm

FREE and open to the public

Noon * Fashion Show

2pm * Panel Discussion

This Multimedia Exhibition explores the complex history of Hmong Dance from China, to Southeast Asia to the United States.  It examines, in particular, the transformation of Hmong dancing through their migration, encounter, and interaction with outside groups, including the Chinese, the Lao, the Thai, the Vietnamese, and finally the settlement in America.  To examine such transformative history of Hmong Dancing, however, one also has to examine the changing history of Hmong Traditional Costume style, because the change of Hmong Dress significantly affected the Transformation of Hmong Dance.

This Exhibition presents a parallel vision of Hmong Costumes and Dances from its origin and to its evolution in America.  It shows that, throughout their long history of immigration, the Hmong have incorporated dress styles, music, dances, and other artistic expressions with outside groups’ cultures, and to integrate into as their own distinctive styles. Today, especially at New Year Celebrations in places such as St. Paul, Minnesota, and Fresno, California, Hmong men and women in a variety of dress style can be seen dancing to music and in dance style appropriated from a variety of cultures. 

This Transformative Hmong Dance History reflects in the old saying, – “Only by Deepening the Roots, We Can Expect the Lush Leaves.”   This Exhibition shows that, throughout their long and complex history, the Hmong have integrated dress styles, music, dances, and other artistic expressions from outside groups and cultures to create their own dress, music, and dance. Such hybridity of Hmong Dance shows not only the evolution of Hmong culture over time but also the incredible resilience of the Hmong.  That is, not only does the Hmong, stateless people, survive years of warfare and displacement, their culture also has not died off, as some have feared, but merely evolved over time, and celebrated in a proud way. And this Exhibition represents the true reflections of such lush leaves from the deepest Hmong dance roots.


This Exhibition is curate by the Iny Asian Dance Theater’s Artistic Director – Iny Xiong, Coordinators – See Xiong and Ange Hwang; and the Photos are contributed by the well-known Hmong Photographers – Nolan Lee and Cam Xiong.  Special thanks for the write up of this cultural interpretation – Transformative History of Hmong Dress, Music, and Dance,” by Dr. Nengher N. Vang (Elizabeth City State University)

This project is supported in part by University of MN, UROC, and MN State Arts Board.  This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

For more information please contact: or 612-376-7715 or see.xiong@amamedia.og

Beading Works on the Hmong Dance Costume


Hmong Story Cloth portraying the Hmong Dance Competition


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One Response to “Deep Roots, Lush Leaves – Transformation of Hmong Dance in Minnesota”

  1. I like it when individuals come together and share opinions.
    Great website, continue the good work!

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