Let's Dance Tinikling
I was inspired to write this article in view of the forthcoming Multicultural celebration in our parish. This celebration is a gathering of all our parish members in recognition of our cultural diversity and ethnicity. Part of this is the presentation of one of the Philippines' native dances, the "Tinikling".
Origin of "Tinikling"
Tinikling is one of the most popular native dances in the Philippines. The name originates from the local bird specie tikling. This type of bird has long legs and neck. The birds are considered as the worst enemies of the farmers in the Visayan region because they molest the ricefields as they prey on the ripening rice grains. Because of this, farmers would place some traps made of bamboo to catch the annoying birds. But then, these birds would still manage to escape from the traps. The tinikling dance is a mimicry of the birds' grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles.
The Tinikling Dance
The Tinikling Dance originated in Leyte, in the Visayan islands of central Philippines. It involves two people hitting bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who hop over and between the poles. The trick is to keep your feet from getting caught between the poles.
Teamwork between the clappers and the dancers is very important as they need to coordinate and synchronize their movements with each other. The teamwork involves being alert and in coordination with the speed, the beat, the rhythm, and the counting.
A few years ago when I took a trip to the Philippines, my family and I got the opportunity to see a cultural show featuring some of the country's native dances including the tinikling. It was worth watching it as you can see how skillful the performers are, and you will appreciate the unique quality of the dance.
In the United States, each time we have gatherings that involve Filipino participations, there is always a demand from the audience for the tinikling dance.
Last December at our Simbang Gabi (Evening Mass) celebrations, tinikling was performed at the reception. Aside from having the professional dancers perform, they also gave step lessons to those who would like to learn. It was fun and very interesting. The photo above shows Fr. Cal being given an instruction how to do the steps. He did very good and was able to learn the basic steps in just a few minutes.
Tinikling in Motion
Well, you won't really be able to appreciate Tinikling without actually seeing the dance in motion. So, here's your chance to see how it is done. I was lucky enough to be able to find something on You Tube that will best describe what this dance is all about.
Enjoy watching and have a good day! Please click this link to see the video