As varied are the people of the Philippines, so too are the dances. There are many dances performed in the Philippine Islands such as the popular “Tinikling”, to the exoticized “Pangalay”, to the skill-based interpretation of the “Bangka” and Spanish-tinged “Jota”. Dance categorizations range from geographic localization, to socialization functions, to dance influences, and time period.
There are numerous types of Filipino dances, varying in influence, from the country’s regions. Types of Filipino dance include Cordillera, Muslim, tribal, rural, and Spanish style dances. Jerrah is the most well known kind of dance in the cordillera region. Within the Cordilleras’ dances, there are the Banga, Bendayan, Lumagen/Tachok, Manmanok, Ragragsakan, Salisid, Talip, Tarektek, and Uyaoy/Uyauy. The Banga dance shows the grace and strength of women in the Kalinga tribe. Women performing the Banga balance heavy pots on their heads while dancing to beat of wind chimes. This mimics Kalinga women collecting and transporting water. Another dance, called Lumagen or Tachok, is performed to celebrate happy occasions. When Lumagen is performed, it is meant to symbolize flying birds and is musically paired to the beat of gongs. Another cordillera dance, Salisid, is the dance to show courtship. In the Salisid dance, a male and a female performer represent a rooster attempting to attract a hen.
Tribal dances include Malakas at Maganda, Kadal Blelah, Kadal Tahaw, Binaylan, Bagobo Rice Cycle, and Dugso. Malakas at Maganda is a national folklore dance. It tells the story of the origin of the Filipino people on the islands. Another dance, called the Binaylan dance, tells the story of a hen, the hen’s baby, and a hawk. In this dance, the hawk is said to control a tribe’s well-being, and is killed by hunters after attempting to harm the hen’s baby.
Two examples of traditional Filipino dances are Tinikling and Binasuan and many more. Filipinos have unique folk dances like tinikling where assistants take two long bamboo sticks rapidly and in rhythm, clap sticks for dancers to artistically and daringly try to avoid getting their feet caught between them. Also in the southern part of the Philippines, there is another dance called Singkil using long bamboo poles found in tinikling; however, it is primarily a dance showing off lavish Muslim royalty. In this dance, there are four bamboo sticks arranged in a tic-tac-toe pattern in which the dancers exploit every position of these clashing sticks. Dancers can be found trying to avoid all 4 bamboo sticks all together in the middle. They can also try to dance an entire rotation around the middle avoiding all sticks. Usually these stick dances performed in teamwork fashion not solo. The Singkil dance is identifiable with the use of umbrellas and silk clothing.
Presentation of Dances in the Philippines are often categorized in ethnic or geographic localization. These localization are often presented in the following:
Dances of the Cordillera Mountains (Igorot)
Dances of the Taga-Ummah (Muslim)
Dances of the Traditionalists (Lumad)
Dances of the Low-land Western-Christians
Other less common presentations of Philippine dances have been categorized by societal functions. Philippine dances not only convey the artistry of movement, but are often associated with life-functions such as weddings, the mimicry of birds, or even the warding of evil spirits. This outlook on dance can be separated into the following categories.
Another presentation of dances is through contrasting the influences of Southeast and mainland Asia with the influences of the Spanish and Americans.
Southeast Asian Influence
Mainland Asian Influence
The time period of each Filipino dance must also be taken into consideration. As culture is constantly evolving, dances often change along with the times. Philippine dances can be categorized in these time periods:
Modern and Post-Modern
As the popularity of Filipino Cultural Nights and the Folk Arts groups grow, so too does the need to create and recreate Philippine dance forms. Among these contemporary issues are the ideas of bringing the village dance into the stage, the connections among the various Philippine dances, the ownership of world-influence, and the dances of Filipinos from the diaspora.
From the Village to Stage
Interconnection of Philippine Dance
Filipinizing world influences
Dances from the Diaspora
Source from Wikipedia