"...Creators said the production marks the first time a Hmong story has ever been performed by professional ballet dancers.
"It's a dream come true," said Ho-Shia Thao, the show's creator. "And these stories are very, very real. It's not a fairy-tale ballet. Thao, originally from Brooklyn Center, is a professional ballet dancer and choreographer who has traveled the country in his career..."
"Ho-Shia Aaron Thao, originally from Minneapolis, gave the workshop at St. Paul’s Center for Hmong Arts & Talent Saturday, and he will soon perform a five-act ballet he wrote and choreographed called “Diaspora: A Mother’s Elegy.” It’s the story of his mother and her family set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and immigration to the United States..."
"...Thao grew up in Brooklyn Center before discovering ballet in his 20's, when he was a medical student at the University of Minnesota. He says the show is also a rare opportunity to use a European art form to showcase Hmong stories and to make ballet more accessible to a more diverse audience...."
"Thao feels the storyline is universal. "It really is about finding common ground for parents and for children who may not really understand each other or really understand each other’s expectations," Thao said. He said it's about the obstacles that can batter a relationship between a parent and child and the journey back to redefining their love for each other..."
"With Suni Lee's gold-medal performance putting the Twin Cities' Hmong community in the international spotlight, there couldn't be a better time for Ho-Shia Aaron Thao's new ballet to hit the Cowles Center stage."Diaspora: A Mother's Elegy," premiering Saturday, delves into the Hmong history of migration from Southeast Asia to the United States following the Vietnam War..."
"What does it mean to be Hmong? The common narrative is one of a sad immigrant from Laos whose family had to struggle with language, cultural clash, and economics. But there is another story you’ve not heard. One of significance. One which can change your life. It is a story about a Hmong-American man called Ho-Shia Aaron Thao Kogan..."