20 April 2008

Culture Show

Last night was an exceptional evening of food, fun and Filipino culture. There was yummy Pinoy cuisine, both catered and homemade by the students (I know! Can you imagine rolling lumpia when you were in college? No way!), funny short movies, hilarious skits, live music, lovely singing, colorful native costumes and athletic, explosive dancing.

The dancing just took my breath away. As a dancer myself, I know what it takes to learn choreography of one five-minute piece. Last night's show had ten dances. TEN. Ten very intricate and highly stylized dances. In bare feet. On wood floor. Plus there were props, complicated audiovisual presentations, food, food and more food, and skits. The student who played Juan Tamad was exceptional. Very natural. The two ladies who sang the national anthems of both the U.S. and the Philippines could be on American Idol, they were both that good. And the guys who probably did not grow up dancing were good enough sports to (a) strip down to loincloth in one dance number, (b) were willing to dance on benches, and (c) allowed fellow students to whack them in the ankles with bamboo poles. The ladies, who looked like they did have dance experience, showed plenty of grace and style.

As promised, here are dance highlights from "Tandaan VIII: Who Is Juan Tamad?" as staged by the George Washington University's Philippine Cultural Society.

For more footage of each of the individual dances, come see my page on YouTube. I managed to record the entire "Sayaw Sa Bangko," "Singkil" (my piece), the "Kini-Kini" (beautiful, regal dance) and a very athletic, very explosive "Tinikling."

Hope you enjoy and have a great week!

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