List of Dances and Suites
The Philippines’ varied rich culture and traditions come from the influences of the early pre-existing Asian culture in the island country and the subsequent colonization by Spain and the United States. Filipinos are known for their love of the arts and its many traditions, especially those involving community life and common place events have been translated into dances and music.
Below is a snapshot of dances in the group’s repertoire.
Kalinga maidens go to the river, preparing for a marriage ceremony. They display grace, strength, and stamina as they go about the day task of fetching water and balancing the pot (banga) on their heads.
The Bogobo tribe celebrates a bountiful harvest with elaborate footwork and music from a unique instrument consisting of small gongs.
This joyful dance of men and women of the Ifugao tribe mimics a rooster scratching the ground and serves as a thanksgiving prayer for a bountiful rice harvest.
Named after the unique carrying baskets found only in Benguet, the dance depicts maidens coming home from the fields with their harvest in these baskets and beating on unique bamboo buzzers to drive away evil spirits.
Maria Clara Suite
This dance expresses the gaiety of an event and is a favorite during the Christmas season.
Polka sa Plaza
A Spanish influenced dance using parasols (umbrellas). The story places dancers with their partners, parading around a churchyard into town.
This courtship dance breathtakingly demonstrates the grace and skill of a couple balancing perilously on top of bamboos held on the shoulders of men. The long cloth symbolizes the waves as dancers simulate a ride aboard a boat called a “vinta” gliding across the seas.
A fairy tale depicting a bride and groom becoming a princess and prince, telling the story of a Princess caught in an earthquake until rescued by her prince.
Rural/Barrio Fiesta Suite
Meaning “about flowers,” girls dance holding garlands of flowers attached to a wire which arch when held overhead.
A dance portraying coconut huskers with discarded coconut shells attached on their chests, backs, hips, and legs, striking themselves and each other’s bodies with shells held in hand, all in celebration of a hard day’s work.
Pandanggo sa Ilaw
This dance is often performed at fiestas. Candle-lit glasses are balanced on the heads and back of the hands of female dances reminiscent of fireflies.
This dance depicts the tedious work of planting rice for almost the entire day with the body bent and stooped forward.
Sayaw sa Banko
Couples dance on narrow benches (banko) hopping from one end to another, or from bench to bench. They show their skills by staying up on the bench as they exchange places.
Considered the national dance of the Philippines, which portrays birds moving swiftly and dodging traps set from farmers.