Born in Vietnam, Minh Tran immigrated to the United States in 1980 as a political refugee. In addition to receiving dance training in classical Vietnamese opera at the National School of Fine and Performing Arts in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), he holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Washington and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration / Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis from Portland State University with a Certificate in Dance.
Tran has created over forty choreographic works since 1989. As both a dancer and choreographer, his work has received numerous grants, fellowships and commissions, including: the Regional Arts & Culture Council; White Bird / Tiffany & Company New Works Fund; Oregon Arts Commission; Oregon Ballet Theatre; BodyVox; Alaska Dance Theater, Northwest Dance Project, Portland State University's Contemporary Dance Season; PICA's TBA Festival; the Portland International Performance Festival; ArtExplosion: A Festival of Asian American Performing Arts; San Francisco Performances; San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Seattle's On the Boards; UCLA’s Asian & Pacific Performance Exchange Initiative; New York’s Dance Theater Workshop Suitcase Fund’s Mekong Project with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.
In 2003 Minh Tran & Company was awarded a production and touring grant from the Doris Duke Fund for Dance of the National Dance Project, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Altria Group, Inc.
As an educator, Minh Tran's research is specialized in Southeast Asian Dance & Culture and Dance Training Toward Performance. In 2008 he accepted a position at Reed College in Portland, Oregon as Visiting Associate Professor in Dance where he teaches intermediate and advanced technique and choreography, special projects courses, repertory, and Dance Traditions of Southeast Asian Civilization. He served as Reed's Dance Department Chair in 2013. Tran has additionally been a guest instructor at the University of Washington, Lewis & Clark College, University of Portland, Western Oregon University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, where he taught Modern and Ballet Technique, Repertory, Dance Composition/Improvisation, Introduction to Dance and World Dance and Culture with a focus on Southeast Asian forms.
Since 1995 Mr. Tran has contributed to the dance field at large as a review panelist for public and private funding organizations, including: Western States Arts Federation's TourWest Program, Denver, Colorado; Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland Oregon; Artist Trust/The Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship, Seattle Washington; The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, San Francisco; and the National Endowment for the Arts, Northwest Region Project Grants. In addition he curated On the Boards 12 Minutes Max series for the 1997-1998 season, and served as Treasurer for the Dance Coalition of Oregon. Mr. Tran is currently a member of the advisory committee for New York's Dance Theater Workshop Suitcase Fund / Task force on Southeast Asia / Mekong Region which is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. He additionally serves as an arts consultant for Dance Advance which supports dance culture in the Philadelphia area, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. He currently a member of the Board of Directors for White Bird, a contemporary dance presenting organization in Portland, Oregon.
Mr. Tran’s work has been performed throughout the western United States, at Dance Theatre Workshop in New York, and internationally in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.