Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rural Dance

Rural Life
There are dances which have managed to steer clear of European influences and to this day without visible foreign characteristics. Such as dance like the “Maglalatik” a tagalong war dance. The subject matter of this dance is open combat between Christian and Muslim soldier over “Latik” or coconut residue. What is unique is that no sword or dummy are used. Instead each combatant has eight coconut shells tied to his body on the chest, behind the shoulders, above the knees, and on the hips. In addition each combatant has a pierce of shell in each hand. After the mood of fighting has been reached, they clash each one aiming blows at the coconut shells on his opponents’ body creating rhythmic sounds. Gradually, positions shift and though the shift can be determined who is beating.
As a great number of folk dance are mimetic in character.  A dance may reenact rice pounding, as in case of ratio of Bulacan, or it may portray the action of the rice threshers like the Tioka dance of Laguna. In the coconut region, there is a popular dance the Mananguete. It portrays how many tuba, a potent brew made from coconut buds.
Perhaps the best known and closest to 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 joy in work, a love for music, and pleasure in the simplicities of life. Typical attire in the Rural Suite includes colorful Balintawak and Patadyong skirts for the women, and Camisa de Chino and colored trousers for the men.

From Victoria, Tarlac, comes Basulto, a love song presented in satirical form. This dance of Pampango influence is usually performed with the accompaniment of the song. One verse the song is sung, then a figure of the dance is performed. The singing and dancing is done alternately.

The Bayluhan is a dance performed in Malabon and Navotas by childless women who were unable to make the annual pilgrimage to neighboring Obando to do a prayer-dance for a child. The women wait instead for their friends who went to the fertility festival to return, and then they recreate the fertility dance.

            This colorful and lively dance from Bayambang in the Pangasinan province shows off the balancing skills of the dancers. The glasses that the dancers gracefully yet carefully maneuver are half-filled with rice wine. Binasuan, meaning “with the use of a drinking glass” in Pangasinan, is often performed as entertainment at weddings, birthdays, and fiestas.

            This particular dance came from the town of Jaro in Leyte Province, where planting the gaway is the predominant occupation of the barrio folks. Gaway-gaway is a harvest dance that celebrates the bountiful harvest of the gaway--a plant of the taro family that is grown both for the vegetable and its roots. During harvest season, the customary participation of the children in harvesting gaway is seen. Gaway is harvested by pulling the stalk off the ground. Hence, the pulling of the stalks leads to the unavoidable hitting of each other’s elbows, which has been adapted into a peculiar characteristic of the dance called siko-siko.

            This animated wedding dance derived its name from a plant which grows along Dao beach in Antique. It is usually performed by the parents of the bride and groom during the wedding feast.

            A dance originating in Bohol, Visayas, it is popular at Ilokano and Visayas festivals. This dance commands a sense of improvisation which mimics a young playful couple’s attempt to get each other’s attention.

Oasiwas is a dance in which an oil lamp is balanced on the dancer's head as he swings around lighted lamps wrapped in porous cloth or fishnet. The name of the dance comes from the Pangasinense word for swinging. The dance is performed by fishermen of Lingayen when celebrating a good catch. It is accompanied by waltz-like music.

            In Laguna, the village Labanderas or washerwomen, spend relatively calm day by doing their laundry when tsismis or gossip among them gets out of hand and drama ensues. Through fighting with their palos (laundry paddles) to resolve their disputes, their dance come to life.

Other examples of rural dances:
·         Bagol
·         Binatbatan
·         Binoyugan
·         Itik-itik
·         Kalapati
·         Kalatong
·         Kilingkingan
·         Pandanggo sa Tapis
·         Pandanggo sa Ilaw
·         Pateado
·         Regatones
·         Sakuting
·         Sapatya
·         Sayaw sa bangko
·         Sinulog
·         Subli
·         Tinikling
·         Tinolabong

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