MN SunShine Dance

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2011 by MN SunShine

Minnesota SunShine has moved to Iny Asian Dance Theater at

Just returning from their China performance tour, MN Sunshine Dance has been dancing together for the past 11 years, studied under Internationally renowned Hmong Choreographer – Mai Vang, they have focused on Hmong, Chinese, Laos, and Bollywood dance style. MN Sunshine has long history of winning the 1st place titles at many Hmong New Year Dance Competition.  They are famous with their explosive physical capacities along with beautiful costume, and refreshing Asian music.  MN SunShine is the most advance dance group within Iny Asian Dance Theater.  Iny Asian Dance Theater offers 5 dance classes, open weekly to students ages 6 and above.  The classes range from Beginning class to Advance class; Rainbow, Silver Skies, Ocean, Hmong Heros, and MN SunShine.  The MN SunShine dancers are Jennie Vang, Mickie Vang, Lillian Vang, Pa Vang, Kia Xiong, Mailai Xiong, Pa Xiong, See Xiong, Zaoie Xiong, Nouqouja Yang, Jessica Yang, Tshia Lee, and Lilly Yang, Manida Yang, Wendy Yang (from 2009 -2011).

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Minnesota SunSh…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2011 by MN SunShine

Minnesota SunShine has moved to Iny Asian Dance Theater at

2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2011 by MN SunShine

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‘Longing for Qeej’

Presented by Iny Asian Dance Theater and Asian Media Access

Location: UMN Raring Center Proscenium, 330 21st Ave S., Minneapolis Campus

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Sunshine, in collaboration with Asian Media Access, and Pan Asian Arts Alliance, opens Longing for Qeej, a Hmong dance drama, at 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival, on August 8th/5:30pm, 9th/7pm, 11th /7pm, 13th/5:30pm and 14th/1pm, at University of MN, Raring Center Proscenium, 330 21st Ave S., Minneapolis campus.

The production is an international collaboration among Asian-American artists including Iny Mai Vang, a Hmong American Choreographer and Artist Director, Ange Hwang, a Chinese American writer, and Kang Vang, a Hmong American Theater Director.

Longing for Qeej is based on the Hmong folktail ‘Sansay’ who is a great warrior engaging in combat from one kingdom to the next.  Many challenges took place with Sinsay always the victor, and his reputation as a champion quickly spread.  If Sinsay won a challenge, his prize was to marry one beautiful young woman from that kingdom.  Eventually, Sinsay conquered 7 kingdoms with 7 wives and enjoyed 7 celebrations.

The God of Heaven decided to have a grand festival to honor Sinsay.  All 7 wives arrived, found out each other, all shouted, “He’s my husband!” The God of Heaven then told the women, “If all 7 of you say that each of you are his wife, then each of you must go and make something so that when all seven parts are put together into one, words will come out of it.”  So each of them went off to make something, and all came back with different length of pipes. The seven pipes were put together, becoming one instrument – Qeej and when it was blown, the words came out. And the God of Heaven declared that all of the women were Sinsay’s true wives.   Therefore, the Qeej has become the symbol of the Hmong culture.  MN Sunshine will present the century-old story with dances, weaving in with narration and multi-media effect, creating a seamless cultural conversation from Ancient Asia to Modern America.

Photo: Alex Wohlhueter

Qeej is a special HMONG CULTURAL ICON, Hmong people believe through Qeej – using of rhythm, tone, and melody the relationship between the natural and supernatural worlds can be explored.  Qeej is not just the music instrument, but combining with movements to support the ritual ceremony.  When playing, the musician has to perform the mandatory steps, which include spinning (to confuse evil spirits) and larger circular patterns (which indicate the journey on horseback of the soul).

Photo: Alex Wohlhueter.

This authentic Dance Drama – Longing for Qeej – utilizes narration and multi-media, interweaving acrobatics and traditional Hmong Dances, to re-tell the mystery. The Choreographer Iny Mai Vang adapts the tradition, incorporates with graceful dance movements and enhances with group formations to honor the Qeej.  The dance troupe – MN Sunshine has long history of winning the 1st place titles at Hmong New Year Dance Competition.  They are famous with their explosive physical capabilities along with beautiful costume, and refreshing Asian music.
This is their first effort to put a retrospective of their award winning dances from the past 10 years together in one show. Famous dances include: Bamboo Dance, Sun Dance, Mermaid Dance, Peacock Dance, & Water Bucket Dance.

MN SunShine Dance

Posted in Uncategorized on June 3, 2011 by MN SunShine

Minnesota SunShine dance includes:

2010 Bollywood Dance

An Asian Indian Dance.  Bollywood is a popular term to portray the Asian Indian musical movies, full of songs and dances.  Choreographer Iny Mai Vang takes the idea, modeled after the Northern Indian style, blending with Western influence, to create this energetic dance – Bollywood Dance.

Sun Dance

Sun Dance, like its name is a dance choreographed by Iny Mai Vang to portray the goddess of the heaven playing around with the sun.  Combining the group formation and synchronized movement, the dancers wear long uptight, bottom-wide skirts flipping with their legs, along with elegant hand and arm gestures to resemble the sun.

Water Bucket

This dance portrays a group of Hmong girls going to the river to fetch for water.  MN Sunshine’s 2009 traditional dance, using a similar style to Dai dancing.  The outfit worn has a unique look to it, a bend of both Dai and Hmong.  The custom elegant like the Dai clothing yet still incorporating the traditional Hmong ‘water snail’ design, reflecting the Hmong identity.  Each girl, with a water bucket on their hand, dances as they go on their way to the river.  At last, everyone has gathered each bucket of water and pour it into the golden water bucket.

Blessing and Welcoming

‘Blessing and Welcoming’ portrays a group Hmong girls welcoming the guests, and blessing them with its best wishes.  The Hmong people are one of the oldest minority ethnic groups in several countries, believed by some researchers to be from the Yellow Basin area in China.  They developed a lively form of antiphonal singing and competitive dance.  Jingling Bells and pleated skirts combine sound and color as performers enact this distinctive folk dance.

Hmong Chinese Peacock Dance

Peacocks are known for their beauty. Their tails are a rainbow of bright turquoise-blue, lime green, royal violet, and orange eyes that look straight through you. The peacock’s beauty beats that of any bird creature, but when a Hmong Chinese girl dresses up the peacock is no match. In this dance, Hmong Peacock, the dancers are dressed as peacocks. Watch beauty double in front of you as the beauty of dance and colors combine.

2009 Bollywood Dance

The dance of 2009 Bollywood Dance starts off with fine hands and feet movement, to the song in famous bollywood movie “Umrao Jaan”.

Mermaid of the Sea

From east to west, north to south fisher men around the world have search throughout the sea, hoping to catch a glance of the most beautiful sea creature, the mermaid.

A group of mermaids had swam up to the top of the sea.  On the mermaids’ back, a silver-blue dorsal fin spike outward, the edge fade into a tint of rose-violet.  Their mermaid tails shine of a turquoise blue hue, reflecting the top layer of golden scales similar to the shape of a fish scale.  They have decorated their mermaid scale to their sense of deep-sea fashion, a line of pearl beads, hanging from each and every tip of their mermaid scales.  On one side of their head, a gill-cover that looks very much like a sparkling crown invades into seaweeds to the other side.  Their golden fish scales shines brighter than the shimmering of the water as they swim up to the shore, flapping their dorsal fin vivaciously in the shallow lagoon as they engage underneath the light of the early sunrise.

2008 Bollywood Dance

Flower Vines Dance

The cold winter has stopped and early Spring has come.  The sky clears up to bright blue, the animals come out from their hibernating nest, and the wild bush started to bloom.  One by one, little flower buds appear after one another on its silky vines.  In mid-Spring the flower buds grow bigger and opens into beautiful soft-pink petals.  When the wind blow on the bush, its flower vines sway gently in resistance.  Finally, the wild flower bush had bloom to its fullest in late Spring.  Flowers, or little candy-like ornaments hanging on every vines.


The peach blossoms are so eye-delighted, anyone who walks by would stop to sit and gaze at the blossoms until an ease of peacefulness fills their mind.  Suddenly, a strong wind rush by.  The blossoms’ petals break loose and dances in a swirl with the wind.  In this dance, MN SunShine portrays the peach blossom dancing in the wind.  Their incorporated dance moves and formation of flower blossoms swimming through the air, to the rhythm of a flute instrument.

2007 Bollywood Dance

My Hand Kerchief Dance

Oh country boy, you may be poor and wears only a pair of sandals, but will you be my lover?

The girls dress up in traditional Hmong clothes.  Their hair neatly tied up and twisted into a hair bun and finish it with the Hmong black and white hair-dress.  Their Hmong shirt, readily beaded around the border of the neck, the border around the arms, and the border on the back.  Their skirt is the traditional black Hmong skirt, overlapped with a matching Hmong-skirt apron.

Yunnan Dance

Hmong Basket Dance

Hmong Basket portrays Hmong girls going to the farm.  They each carry a bamboo coiled basket and dance along the way to the rice field.  Their bamboo basket has been useful to them.  They can use it and put just about anything in their basket.  On their way to the farm, their basket has served as a lunch box.  During the rice harvest process, their bamboo basket has severed as a rice container.  Oh what great joy it is to have a bamboo basket! A device that makes work less complicated!

Crossing through the Wooden Beam

This dance tells the story of our Hmong ancestors in the mountain.  Hmong is an East Asian tribe, originated from the mountains of China.  Back in the days in the mountain, they have no electricity, no gas tank, no brick bridges, or no grocery stores.  Anything they use, have to be made from their own effort and bare hands.

The normal way of life for a Hmong family back in the days was farming from dawn till night fall each day, or in short-term, to raise a farm.  They have to wake up and go to the farm every morning.  When they return, they would pick up dried wood along the way and bring it home for a camp fire.  On their way home when they come across a creek, they would use a wooden board as a bridge to get to the other side.

Crossing Through the Wooden Beam portrays Hmong girls returning home from the farm and crossing over a wooden beam to get to the other side.

Beauty in the Colors

Everything becomes more appealing when it has colors.  Iny Mai Vang choreographed this Chinese dance in 2005.  The MN SunShine dancers wore a pants made from four different fabric colors; red violet, turquoise blue, lime green, and bright yellow.  Their shirt is a shinning silver sequence, with colorful designs around the boarders, and on their head-dress piece is a soft pink flower attached.

Hmong Umbrella Dance

Hmong New Years are traditionally outdoor events, whether what the weather may be.  Therefore it is very common to see girls carrying umbrella with them when they are ball tossing.

This dance portrays the first time a young man and a young woman meeting each during a ball toss at the Hmong New Year.  The MN SunShine girls are dressed in Hmong clothes and they each carry a paj ntaub (flower cloth) umbrella.  In the song the young woman sings about how she has secretly fallen in love with the young man after seeing him for the first time.

Dola Re Dola Bollywood Remix

Dola Re Dola is MN SunShine’s 4th song danced to and second Bollywood dance.  They first performed this dance in Saint Paul Hmong New Year at the convention center, Saint Paul River Center in 2002.  The song is from the popular Hindi movie “Devdas”.  The music director is Ismail Darbar and singers are Kavita Subramniam, KK, and Shreya Ghoshal (  In the song, the singer tells how her heart has been “swayed” by her lover.

Yinyin Dance

Water Festival Dance

Red Handkerchief

2001 Bollywood

Peacock Dance 2003

Silver Fairies

2003 Bollywood

Table Dance