We had the good fortune of connecting with Thiên Ân Performing Arts and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Thiên Ân, how does your business help the community?
Our vision is to provide the platform for local youths to learn, perform, protect and prolong the Vietnamese culture through our unique forms of traditional dancing, traditional drumming, and lion dancing performances. Not only we help our members connect to the Vietnamese culture, but also teach them the valuable core characteristics such as respect, confidence, and self-discipline along with high encouragement so each member may value the performances as exciting and empowering. In turn, they then can share these BLESSINGS back with others through our unique Vietnamese cultural performances.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets Thiên Ân Performing Arts apart from other groups is our unique incorporation of “Trống Hội” traditional drumming and dancing with lion dance combo, that we often perform throughout the Little Saigon area, as well as other neighboring communities. Our performances are created by our own members from a blank slate, then practiced and performed by them as well. Incorporating inputs from the same individuals that will perform these performances later on, helps bring an individualistic feeling and buy-in to instill a soul to each performance at every level. Let me tell you, it wasn’t this easy in the beginning! Originally, Thiên Ân was established in 2005 to showcase the traditional Vietnamese dances and lion dancing, which have been a strong stable in the Little Saigon community; however, in 2010 we decided to incorporate traditional drumming with 10 Vietnamese styled drums to the group, which didn’t exist anywhere in Little Saigon yet. With any new art form, especially one with the word “Traditional” associated with it, there was a resistance from our members to learn and love it at first. Though, we managed to jumpstart our traditional drumming team and learned traditional routines from several YouTube videos we saw in Vietnam, but ultimately it still lacked the “Soul” factor. Like any other challenges that our group had faced, we came together and worked to figure out an innovative solution, since there was no instructional manual available to what we wanted to do with traditional drumming. Our solution was to incorporate music, dance, and storylines that represented the core and mission of Thiên Ân to our drumming performances, and sometimes lion dancing as well. These innovative concepts brought a soul to our drumming performances, and a uniqueness that attracts many youths in the community to get involved in learning the Vietnamese heritage and culture.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In our view, the place we would like everyone to check out is our Little Saigon hometown! Our principle office is located in the heart of Little Saigon, Orange County, California, USA. It is where the largest Little Saigon in the United States and first-generation Vietnamese immigrants community located; therefore, the large part of our members are second and third generation Vietnamese Americans. Together with the community, we want to continue providing the platform for our community youths to learn, perform, protect and prolong the Vietnamese culture for future generations.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to dedicate this shoutout to all of our Thiên Ân Performing Arts members from past and present because they’ve made Thiên Ân to what it is today. Nowadays, it is very difficult to motivate young people to want to be knowledgeable on anything regarding their background or culture because of common distractions in everyday life; for example, social medias and technologies. Our members helped shape Thiên Ân into an exciting and innovative cultural performing team through our unique cultural Vietnamese dances, drumming, and lion dance performances that attracted today’s younger generation, as well as keeping these traditions alive for our community. We believe through these experiences in Thiên Ân, our members are able to connect to the Vietnamese culture deeper, and also learn the valuable core characteristics such as respect, confidence, and self-discipline along with encouragement so they may carry these essential skills into the everyday life to accomplish all their aspirations outside of Thiên Ân.

Website: www.thienanperformingarts.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thienanperformingarts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thienanperformingarts

Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCax37JOBHBsJE85f2SdP_-A

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