Minh Tran was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1964 and is a professional choreographer, contemporary dancer, and an educator at Reed College. He began training in dance as a child with the Peking Opera Company in Saigon. However, Tran was forced to pause his dance education during the late 1970s when he and his brothers left Saigon as political refugees. They arrived in San Francisco in September of 1980 for processing and soon moved to Oregon, where they settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager, Tran attended Milwaukee High School and worked two to three jobs outside of school. After high school, he enrolled in Portland State University where he majored in accounting, but studied dance in all his free time. During and after college, Tran worked for the Petronio and various other dance companies, eventually starting one of his own in 1997. Tran has spent multiple years participating in the Mekong Project and the Asian Pacific Performer Exchange Program. Since 1989, Tran has produced over forty choreographic works.

In this interview, Tran discusses his childhood in Vietnam, and his escape with his four brothers to the United States. He then describes his experience living in quarantine on an army base in San Francisco and moving to Portland to be near their sponsor. Tran speaks about the challenges of living in a new country with his four brothers while also attending school and working to provide for his family. Later, he talks about his years at Portland State University, the support and opportunities that he received from his dance instructors, and how that led to his career as a professional dancer. Tran uses dance as a platform to discuss his identity. He explains that his work changed in his thirties as he began to fully embrace and take pride in his Vietnamese American identity. Recently, Tran has become more involved with the Vietnamese community in Portland through attending Buddhist temple. Near the end of the interview, Tran discusses what he sees as a generational gap in the Vietnamese community and some of the problems that it creates.