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Classifications of Philippine Folk Dances Essay Sample

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Classifications of Philippine Folk Dances Essay Sample

1) Maria Clara dances – named after a Spanish-style dress, and its performance includes Spanish footwork with Filipino modifications such as bamboo castanets and Asian fans.

a. Carinosa – is a flirtatious Philippine group dance in the Maria Clara suite of Philippine folk dances where the fan or handkerchief plays an instrumental roll as it places the couple in a hard-to-get romance scenario. Despite popular belief, Cariñosa has always been the national dance of the Philippines, whereas the Tinikling is just a worldwide favorite. b. Aray – A dance whose words are sung in “Chabacano-ermitense,” a hybrid of Spanish that was only spoken in the Ermita district before the turn of the century and today is extinct. The dance itself is a flirtatious one that involves graceful use of the pañuelo, or shawl, and tambourines. Aray means “ouch” in Tagalog. c. Alcamfor – The Alcamfor dance is classified under Maria Clara dances because of the attire of the dancers which are Maria Clara for the ladies and a barong Tagalog for the men.

The dance originated from Leyte, a province in Visayan Region. It is so named because of the handkerchief the girl holds laced with camphor oil, a substance which suposedly induces romance. d. Havanera de Jovencita – A wedding party dance which originated in the town of Botolan in the Zambales Province. Typical sequences include the procession of the bride and groom’s parents, lineup of the bridesmaids and groomsmen upstage, and a solo featuring the wedding couple. e. Rigodon Royale – This elegant dance was brought to the Philippines by the Filipinos who returned from their travels abroad during the Spanish era.

This dance takes its name from its opening performances at formal affairs such as the President’s Inaugural Ball. Members of government, including the President and First Lady, diplomatic corps, and other state officials usually participate in the Rigodon. Traditionally, a ballroom waltz dance would follow the Rigodon. f. Chotis – Chotis (or “Shotis”) was one of the ballroom dances introduced by early European settlers. This dance, from Camarines Sur, has been adapted by the Bicolano people and is characterized by a brush-step-hop movement. g. Panderetas – It was named after the jingle-less tambourines carried by the females and it originated from Tanza, Iloilo. From December 16 to January 6, a group of people in the Visayan regions go from house to house to sing Christmas called “Daigon.” In some regions the song is usually followed by some dances, and “Las Panderetas” is one of those dances.

2) Mountain – Igorot dances – The mountainous Central Cordillera region of Northern Luzon includes six ethno-linguistic tribes known as the Ibaloy, Kankanay, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao, and Bontoc. They prefer to be called by their respective tribal names rather than the collective term Igorot, which was first used by the Spaniards and later by Christian lowlanders. These tribes were generally unfazed by Spanish colonization. This homogeneous group is recognized by their common socio-cultural traits. They hold common religious beliefs, generally nature-related, and make propitiatory offerings to anitos, or household gods. Among these people of the Cordillera, dance continues to be an expression of community life that animates the various rituals and ceremonies. It serves for self-edification of the performers and entertainment for the spectators. They dance to appease their ancestors and gods to cure ailments, to insure successful war-mating activities,or to ward off bad luck or natural calamities. They dance to congregate and socialize, for general welfare and recreation, and as an outlet for repressed feeling. They also dance to insure bountiful harvests, favorable weather, and to mark milestones in the cycle of life.

h. Apayao Courtship dance – It comes from the northernmost section of the Mountain provinces. The couple raise and wave their arms and hands like the wings of a bird in flight, and the ceremonial blanket worn by the woman is lightly wrapped around her. The man’s movements resemble those of a fighting cock in the preening, strutting, and flying-off-the-ground gestures. i. Bindian – The Ibaloy who inhabit the southernmost mountain regions in Northern Luzon perform victory dances to extol the bravery of the warriors of yesterday. In this version from the barrio of Kabayan, hand movements are downward, suggesting the people’s affinity with the earth. The basic step consists of a stamp by the left foot and a light, forward movement by the right. Instrumentalists lead the line, followed by male dancers, while the female dancers bring in the rear. j. Lumagen – This is a dance performed at Kalinga festivals to celebrate Thanksgiving. k. Dinuyya – A festival dance from Lagawe, it is performed by the Ifugao men and women during a major feast. Accompanying the dance are three gangsa or gongs: the tobtob, a brass gong about ten inches in diameter and played by beating with open palms, and the various hibat or gongs played by beating the inner surface with a stick of softwood. l. Ragragsakan – It is an adaptation of a tradition in which Kalinga women gather and prepare for a budong, or peace pact.

The Kalingga borrowed the beautiful word ragragsakan from the Ilocano, which means “merriment.” The two biggest occassions for a ragragsakan in a Kalinga village are for the homecoming of successful head takers and the culmination of peace-pact between warring tribes. In this dance, Kalinga maidens balance labba baskets on thier heads, wave colorful tribal blankets, and sing short salidumay songs as they snake through the terrace dikes and skip through breaks in the path. m. Tarektek – It originated from Benguet where woodpeckers known as tarektek inhabited Mt. Data. These wild and colorful birds gave rise to the tarektek dance. In this dance, one tarektek male manipulates a colorful tribal blanket representative of the birds’s iridescent plumage while the other playfully beats on a brass gangsa representing impressive bird calls as they battle for the attention of three tarektek females.

n. Pattong – Known also as the Bontoc War Dance, Pattong is part of the headhunting and war ceremonials inciting feelings of strength and courage as the warriors prepare to stalk their enemy. In Central Bontoc, the dance is also performed in February, March, and April, to implore the god Lumawig to send rain, similar in purpose to that of the rain-calling ceremony of Native American tribes. Much of the movements are improvised; two camps of warriors are usually featured pursuing each other, culminating in a melee where a fighter from one tribe kills one of his opponents. o. Banga – This is from Kalinga. The dance shows the Igorot maidens go to the river and prepare for a marriage ceremony. They display not only their grace and agility, but also their stamina and strength as they go about their daily task of fetching water and balancing the banga, claypots full of water, on their heads. p. Sakpaya – Sakpaya came from the name of the birds that populated the world famous Banaue Terraces.

The calloused hands of Ifugao farmers dig the hard soil and push heavy stones off cliffs to make way for a new rice field, part of the world-famous Banaue rice terraces. High-flying sakpaya birds swoop and hover over the terraces as the Ifugao toil. In times of plenty, the Ifugao farmers give thanks to their sakpaya “gods” by donning traditional costumes and imitating their flight in this dance.

3) Muslim dances – The Muslims in the Philippines, also known as Moros include the the Maranao, Maguindanao, Samal, and Tausug. Because they were able to resist Spanish colonizations, they were able to preserve the Islamic lifestyle that markedly differs from the majority of the Philippine population. The dances are characterized by vivid colors and rhythmic movements which reflect the influence of Arabian and Indo-Malaysian cultures.

q. Singkil – It is a famous Philippine dance of the Maguindanao people, but was popularized by the nearby Maranao peoples of Lake Lanao and later the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company. Also known as the Princess Dance or the Royal Maranao Fan Dance, the dance is based on the Maranao interpretation of the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana: the Darangen. The Singkil narrates a scene in which Sita (Putri Gandingan) escapes her abductor, the demon king Ravana and is lost in the forests of Alangka, thereupon being found by her husband, Prince Rama. Interesting to note is that in the original Ramayana epic, Rama selects Hanuman, the Hindu monkey-god, to find Sita on his behalf; the fact that in the Singkil it is Rama (Rajah Bantugan) who finds her suggests a modification of the original Hindu narration in order to agree with monotheistic Islamic ideology.

Kasingkil refers to the art of moving one’s feet in and out of two clicking bamboo poles in imitation of Putri Gandingan who gracefully avoided the falling trees brought about by an earthquake.

Performers would therefore gracefully step in and out of bamboo poles, arranged in crisscross fashion while manipulating either fans or simply their bare hands.Played at celebrations and festivals, traditionally the dance was performed by a girl of royal blood intend on advertising herself to would-be-suitors for her future marriage.

The dance is said to have been named after either the leg bracelets or anklets of silver, nickel or brass with chiming bells of the same name or the act of voluntarily or accidentally entangling on one’s feet in either vines or tall grass. r. Sagayan – It is Philippine war dance performed by both the Maguindanao and Maranao depicting in dramatic fashion the steps their hero, Prince Bantugan, took upon wearing his armaments, the war he fought in and his subsequent victory afterwards. Performers, depicting fierce warriors would carry shield with shell noisemakers in one hand and double-bladed sword in the other attempting rolling movements to defend their master. s. Pangalay – A popular festival dance in Sulu, it is performed in wedding celebrations among the affluent families. They may last for several days or even weeks depending on the financial status and agreement of both families.

Dancers perform this dance to the music of the kulintangan, gabbang, and agongs during the wedding feast. t. Asik – A solo slave dance performed by the umbrella-bearing attendant to win the favor of her sultan master. Asik usually precedes a performance of Singkil. u. Maglangka – This dance which originated from Jolo, Sulu is classified under Muslim Dance. Literally meaning “to dance,” the maglangka is used to mold the adolescent girls into ladies of good breeding and accomplished dancing skills. The girls are strictly taught to gracefully execute movements imitating birds in flight, fish swimming in the sea, or branches swaying in the air while remaining in the confines of a square cloth. these movements require intense concentration and innate style as the ladies express emotions and entertain guests.

4) Rural and Barrio dances – Perhaps the best known and closest to the Filipino heart are the dances from the rural Christian lowlands: a country blessed with so much beauty. To the Filipinos, these dances illustrate the fiesta spirit and demonstrate a love of life. They express a joy in work, a love for music, and pleasure in the simplicities of life. Typical attire in the Rural Suite include the colorful balintawak and patadyong skirts for the women, and camisa de chino and colored trousers for the men.

These dances are lively and incorporate a deep appreciation for music. Often they include fetes such as balancing jars of oil on the head and arms while dancing gracefully.

v. Kalapati – It originated from from Cabugao, Ilocos Sur province. It symbolizes peace and is represented by imitating the movements of a graceful dove. It portrays the typical traits of the Ilokanos: simplicity, naturalness, and shyness. w. Kuratsa – It originated from Bohol, Visayas but it has also a version in the Ilocos Region which is popular at Ilokano festivals.

This dance commands a sense of improvisation which mimics a young playful couple’s attempt to get each other’s attention. It is performed in a moderate waltz style. x. Tinikling – The dance originated in Leyte as an imitation of the legendarily fast and graceful movements of the tikling birds as they dodged bamboo traps set by rice farmers. An alternative explanation says that the dance originated from Spanish colonization, where field workers who worked too slowly were punished by having to stand in place and jump over two bamboo poles clapped together against their ankles; it is said that from a distance the jumping workers looked like tikling birds.[1] Often, this dance is mistakenly coined as the national dance of the Philippines instead of the Cariñosa.

The dance consists of at least one team of two people hitting two parallel bamboo poles on the ground, raising them slightly, then clapping the poles against each other near the ground with a rhythm. Meanwhile, at least one dancer hops over and around the clashing poles in a manner not entirely unlike jump roping. Usually the dancers use certain rhythms or steps. y. Pandanggo sa Ilaw – The term pandanggo comes from the Spanish word fandango, which is a dance characterized by lively steps and clapping that varies in rhythm in 3/4 time. This particular pandanggo involves the presence of three tinggoy, or oil lamps, balanced on the head and the back of each hand.

Another version of this is called Oasiwas from Lingayen, Pangasinan. After a good catch, fishermen would celebrate by drinking wine and by dancing, swinging and circling a lighted lamp. Hence, the name “Oasiwas” which in the Pangasinan dialect means “swinging.” This unique and colorful dance calls for skill in balancing an oil lamp on the head while circling in each hand a lighted lamp wrapped in a porous cloth or fishnet. The waltz-style music is similar to that of Pandanggo sa Ilaw. z. Itik – itik – It originated from Surigao del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines.

According to the story, a young woman named Kanang (short for Cayetana) was the best dancer in that province. At one baptismal celebration, she introduced new steps which were improvisations of the dance Sibay. She imitated the movements of the ducks or itik. Because of its unusual steps and fascinating interpretation, the audience began imitating her. {. Sayaw sa Bangko – It is native to the barrio of Pangapisan, Lingayen, Pangasinan, and demands skill from its performers who must dance on top of a bench roughly six inches wide. |. Maglalatik – It is a mock war dance between the Muslims and the Christians that originated from Binan, Laguna, Philippines. The dance is about a fight for the latik or coconut meat during the Spanish era. Today, this dance is performed in honor of the town’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. All dancers are male and are naked to the waist except for the coconut shells attached to their chests, backs and hips. The Muslim dancers wear red trousers while the Christian dancers wear blue. There are also coconut shells on their thighs and knees. As they dance, they touch these shells with their coconut shells on their hands. }.

Gaway – gaway – It originated from a small town of Leyte called Jaro. The dance depicts children’s celebration of a beautiful harvest of the Gaway root crop. They imitate the pulling of the stalks, hitting their elbows in a movement called Siko-Siko. ~. Bulaklakan – It is a dance that originated in Tagalog Region. During the month of May, it is custom in many parts of the Philippines to celebrate the “Santa Cruz de Mayo,” a procession usually followed by a social gathering in the house of the “Hermana Mayor.” In some places, the celebration takes the form of folk dances held in front of a provisional alter built by the “Hermana Mayor.” Bulaklakan, a lovely and attractive dance, is danced for this occasion. The girls in this dance each hold a garland of leaves and flowers attached to a wire, bamboo or rattan so that the garland will arch when held overhead. 

Wasiwas – It is version of Pandanggo Sa Ilaw (Dance Of Lights). In this version of Pandanggo Sa Ilaw, the lamps are wrapped in colorful scarves and swayed in synchronized rhythm. The dance still depicts dancers balancing oil-lit lamps while dancing gracefully to the music. After a good catch, fishermen of Lingayen would celebrate by drinking wine and by dancing, swinging and circling a lighted lamp. Hence, the name “Oasiwas” which in the Pangasinan dialect means “swinging.” This unique and colorful dance calls for skill in balancing an oil lamp on the head while circling in each hand a lighted lamp wrapped in a porous cloth or fishnet.

5) Tribal dances – The hillside and interior of Mindanao in the southern part of the Philippines are inhabited by non-Christian Filipino tribes whose culture and animistic beliefs predate both Islam and Christianity. Dance for them is a basic part of life, still performed essentially “for the gods.” As in most ancient cultures, unlike the Muslim tribes in their midst, their dances are nonetheless closely intertwined with ceremonials, rituals, sacrifice, and life.

Dugso – Although it originated in Mindanao, this dance falls under Tribal Dances. The dance must have originated from Bukidnon, northeastern Mindanao since they are performed as an entertainment for the deities in fiestas organized for them.It was originally thought that this dance was performed only during harvest time or upon the birth of a male heir. Women would wear colorful feathered head dresses, plaid costumes and anklets. They would step rhythmically around a bamboo arch decorated with newly-gathered palay (rice stalks) and corn, and their movements are emphasized by the tinkling sounds from the anklets. Sagayan – It is a Philippine war dance performed by both the Maguindanao and Maranao depicting in dramatic fashion the steps their hero, Prince Bantugan, took upon wearing his armaments, the war he fought in and his subsequent victory afterwards. Performers, depicting fierce warriors would carry shield with shell noisemakers in one hand and double-bladed sword in the other attempting rolling movements to defend their master. . Tagabili – This is a dance of T’boil, a minority national group from South Cotabato, in southwestern Mindanao, who is comparatively sophisticated in language, dress, and mythology.

This narrates a story about a datu, or prince, who is cursed for killing his brother in jealously over one of his wives. The datu’s daughter is to be wed by a likely suitor, but dies as a result of the curse. In rage, the datu sets his village in flames. . Dumadel – It is a festival dance performed by the Subanons to celebrate a good harvest. . Udol dance – It originated from the Tagakaulo tribe of southern Davao comes. This is a ceremonial dance which portrays death and revenge. It opens with three women walking in with votive candles, mourning the loss of a relative. They are followed by men playing the udol, a long wooden musical instrument. The woman make eloquent gestures of tenderness and despair such as wielding a spear and pounding the udol in anger, countering the steady rhythms of the musicians. A male priest then dances, begging the spirits to guide the soul of the deceased. Finally, two warriors enter, spears in hand, performing a frenzied dance in a circle, then disappearing off stage “to the woods,” apparently to secure the heads of their enemies. Karasaguyon – it originated from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. “Karasaguyon” of the T’boli portrays a polygamous male in the process of picking his next wife from among four sisters vying for his attention. The jingling of beads and brass bells around their waists and ankles provide musical accompaniment.

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