Parangal to showcase Yakan culture at SF Ethnic Dance Festival

/ 11:56 PM July 11, 2019

Parangal Dance Company will present a Yakan Suite as its entry in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. CONTRIBUTED

SAN FRANCISCO — Work never stops for Parangal Dance Company. Its 10th anniversary show last October inspired another immersion trip to the Philippines last March that led to the Yakan suite it is presenting at this year’s San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival on July 13 and 14.

The Yakan people are the inhabitants of the province of Basilan in Sulu Archipelago, southern Philippines. They are known for agriculture and their colorful woven textiles.

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For Parangal, its relationship with culture bearers and working artists that share time and talent is crucial to its work and to putting together this new suite.

Among the culture bearers for the dance festival presentation are Brainy and Saripa Ilul, the Ahaddas family, including Nanak Ahaddas and Uwang Ahaddas, who Parangal connected with in its most recent trip to Basilan.

This newly restaged piece shows movements inspired by weaving, rice planting, harvesting, and wedding celebrations restaged from the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group.

Members of Parangal Dance Company learned from Yakan hosts during their immersion trip in Basilan, Philippines. CONTRIBUTED

New dances show movements inspired by  Yakan’s rice planting, harvest of pandan/abaca leaves for mat and textile weaving, pamansak performed by maidens with elongated brass fingernails in the style of  Nanak Ahaddas, Tumahik warrior dance, and chants learned from elders. Also highlighted are wedding dance of Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Philippine National Artist in Dance and lastly, and restaging of rice harvest dance, Ngeddek, by Earl Pasilan.

Attire and tapestries are sourced for years from Brainy and Saripa Ilul located at the Yakan Weaving Center in Zamboanga City and this year from different weavers with the help of SF Bay Area’s very own Daily Malong. Most of the tapestries to be showcased at the Ethnic Dance Festival were handwoven by local Yakan indigenous weavers, with patterns that tell different stories and inspirations.

This year’s 41st Ethnic Dance Festival performance will be on July 13 and 14 at Zellerbach Hall in UC Berkeley. Tickets are available on this link: http://worldartswest.org/main/edf_index.asp.

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TAGS: folk dance, indigenous dance, Parangal Dance Company, Philippines indigenous culture, San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, Yakan indigenous people, Yakan weaving
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