WORLD PREMIERE / Philippines
Artistic Director Eric Solano brings us another first look at his world-class choreography from the Philippines. Parageyan Kamatettoahan—Ancestor’s Traditions— showcases dance from indigenous Yakan people of Basilan, Sulu Archipelago. A prayer is chanted in Yakan classical language and the tuntungan drum signals harvest. Then, a suite shows four scenes of agricultural practice and celebration, in this order:
- Megtanim Palay: rice planting with kwintangan kayu music to encourage abundance.
- Maghinang Tapo Pandan: harvesting of abaca and pandan leaves to make the famous Yakan tapestry and mats.
- Pagkawin: a wedding. After the opening chant, the bride and groom arrive, recognized by their bulakan face paint. The bride is carried in her inusong (carriage), and the groom, leaves his binalung and dances Tumahik with relatives, proving his strength and agility. Pamansak is performed with languid hand movements and janggay brass fingernails.
- Maganih: harvest. In Pansak si Laley, porcelain plates symbolize days of the week. Men perform Pansak si Bangku, threshing and milling upland rice.
Dancers wear Yakan attire, renowned for its intricate woven patterning. The musical ensemble, also distinctly Yakan, is a Parageyan Kwintangan orchestra with: kwintangan kayu of graduated logs; gabbang bamboo xylophone; gandang bamboo log; tuntungan log drum; kwintangan tumbaga graduated gongs, and sets of brass gongs.
Solano shaped this performance from years of dialogue with Yakan culture bearers. He visited the community of Basilan in the spring of 2019. “They built new instruments for our visit; we could see and smell the fresh wood. The excitement was mutual, joyful as visiting relatives: elders played music and all ages danced. All eyes were on the small screen of my iPhone watching our presentations intensely, with excitement and curiosity, smiles, and laughs at our pronunciations. What an awesome job they do passing traditions to younger generations. But with ongoing modernization, the opportunity to conserve diminishes. The bearers expressed their pride and thanks to the Ethnic Dance Festival for sharing the beauty and richness of Yakan culture.”
Parangal Dance Company is a Philippine dance company that aspires to inspire, creating awareness and advocating for Philippine Indigenous People’s culture, traditions, and stories through attire, music, and dance. Eric Solano is Artistic Director and choreographer, Major Julian is Music Director. This piece was created with the help of Earl Pasilan and Yakan Culture Bearers Brainy Ilul, Nanak Ahaddas, Roxas Ahaddas, Papiya Ahaddas, and Philippine National Living Treasure Uwang Ahaddas.
July 13 & 14
Dance Origin: Lamitan, Basilan, Sulu Archipelago, Philippines
Genre: Folkloric (Yakan)
Title: Peregeyan Kametettoahan—Ancestors’ Traditions
Artistic Director: Eric Solano
Choreographers: Kimberly Requesto, Eric Solano
Musical Director: Major Julian
Attire/Jewelry/Artifacts: Nanak Ahaddas, Bryan Ellorimo, Brainy and Saripa Ilul, Sitti Obeso, Evelynda Otong, Mark Tolentino
Dance Leads: Phol Degalicia, Jet Tagle
Dancers: Don Aguillo, June Arellano, Jeremy Buhain, Emelita Hernandez Bravo, Noelle Campos, Tariq Celeste, Marissa Macayan, Phol Degalicia, Jerico DeGuzman, Marlon Dumlao, Darren Garza, Ritchel Tan Gazo, Kristian Ilustre, Gilbert Laylay, Michael Macayan, Mia Merced, Ben Mortel, Rachel Perey, Joseph Racca, Kimberly Requesto, Ophelia Nombrado Sampang, Nikki Sanchez, Janna Erika San Filipe, Jet Tagle, Dio-Ann Valmores, Denise Wong
Musicians: Major Julian (kwintangan kayu, kwintangan tumbaga), Brandon Rabanal (tuntungan, gong), Paul Silverio (agung), Eric Solano (drum), Vincent Ian Zabala (gandang, gab-bang)
Photo: RJ Muna