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These dances are a small glimpse of the vast cultural tradition of the Philippines.
This dance takes its name from the bells worn on the ankles of the Muslim princess. Perhaps one of the oldest of truly Filipino dances, the Singkil recounts the epic legend of the "Darangan" of the Maranao people of Mindanao. This epic, written sometime in the 14th century, tells the fateful story of Princess Gandingan, who was caught in the middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by the diwatas, or fairies of the forest. The criscrossed bamboo poles represent the trees that were falling, which she gracefully avoids. Her slave loyally accompanies her throughout her ordeal. Finally, she is saved by the prince. Dancers skillfully manipulate apir, or fans which represent the winds that prove to be auspicious. Royal princesses to this day in the Sulu Archipelago are required to learn this most difficult and noble dance.
This is the solo dance by a servant girl of the Princess. The Servant performs this to win the favor of the Princess. The dancers wears long metal fingernails and dances gracefully and posing like a doll.
This dance creates the illusion of an angry monkey, and is always performed by male dancers. The popularity of this dance comes naturally, since the baluang, or monkey, enjoys an affectionate place in Asian folklore.
Dance starts around 5:56.
This dance originated in the Visayan islands.
The movements of the dance imitate the tikling bird as it maneuvers through grass stems, tree branches, and bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers step through and in between a pair of bamboo sticks as two people clap the sticks together.
This dance originates from Surigao in Mindanao. "Itik itik" is the tagalog word for duck, so this dance is basically a duck dance. The movements in the choreography resemble ducks waddling across the rice fields. This is the most elegant dance of all.
Subli originates from Batangas/Southern Luzon. This is a Catholic prayer dance honoring Holy Cross of Alitagtag. 'Subsub’ and ‘bali’ are Tagalog for ‘bent’. Men and women dance in pairs. Men are energetic and bent over. Women perform small gestures with hands and wear ribboned hats.
This origin of Gaway Gaway is from Jaro, Leyte Province, Visayas. This is a Harvest dance. "Gaway" is tagalog for taro plant. The dance mimics stalk-pulling known as ”siko-siko". Young boys and girls imitate the harvesting.They are teasing each other alao known as “parayao”.
The origin of Karatong is from Palawan. It is a celebration of blossoming mango trees that grow abundantly on the island of Cuyo. Women sway their colorful bunga manga, which represent the flowers of the mango tree, while the men strike lively, syncopated beats with their karatong.
From Botolan, Zambales; Habanera Botoleña is a dance brought by the Spanish. Originally performed for parish priest and important official’s departure, this dance is now performed for weddings, baptisms, and other festivities in the Philippines.
From San Jacinto, Pangasinan, Imunan is a courtship dance. The word “Imunan” means Jealousy. The dance depicts a love triangle, in which the suitor tries to please both of girls vying for their attention and love. In the end, the suitor succeeds in giving each girl the attention they sought, ending in a friendship.
Carinosa is a Filipino folk dance of Hispanic origin closely associated with the island of Panay and and the Visayas region. The word carinosa means “the affectionate one”. This is a courtship dance that portrays act of flirtation between a couple.
Choreographers: Niki Torneros & Ryne Hirang
Mumbaki is a dance from the Ifugao tribe in the Northern Mountains of the Philippines. Mumbaki is a thanksgiving dance, in which the Priest and the tribe thank the gods for the blessings of food.
An all male dance in which the dancers beat “gangsas”, or gongs, to announce a wedding ceremony
From the Kalinga tribe in the Northern Mountains, Banga is a dance that showcases Kalinga grace, endurance and strength as womxn balance clay pots on their head, carrying the water for the tribe. The name of the dance is from the pots, which are called “Banga” Dancer dance to the rhythm of the gangsa.
Choreographers: Vintage Core - TJ Velasco, Alyssa Binongcal, Lindsay Antonio, Gerald Evangelista
From the Tagbanua, this martial dance involves the dancer holding a taming (shield) and attacking an unseen enemy with their sword.
This dance originates from the Bagobo tribe in Davao del Norte. It represents a prayer for fertile fields, the cleansing of the spirit, and planting of the next crop.
Choreographers: Mellanie De Guzman & Melanie Shem
JustKidding Modern originated from the UC Davis Fil-Am tribe as a fun, energetic, hip-hop dance performed at the closing of PCN every year.