Dance and tradition combine in Filipino Culture Night

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February 8, 2007

10:30 PM

The vibrant colors of the traditional silk dress of the Philippines float across the stage as the actors dance to the music. This dance — called the Singkill — comes from Mindanao, a Philippine island known for its vast beaches and rich heritage of gong-based music, which pounds the rhythm of this dance during the rehearsal for tomorrow night’s show. The dancers are dressed in authentic Filipino clothing. The women are adorned in flowing silk dresses, while the men wear silk vests and colored pants. The dancers, many of whom are part of the Filipino-American Student Association, have been looking forward to tomorrow for a long time.

p. The one and half hour show — titled “Tatlong Daan, Isang Biyahe: One Story about Three Different Lives in Filipino-America” — will be performed tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the University Center Commonwealth Auditorium. Tickets are $8 pre-sale or $10 at the door and include a dinner of traditional Filipino food.

p. “The show will include a lot of dancing,” said senior and Culture Night Co-Chair Melissa Lorenzo. “There are a lot of new dances and some old favorites. The show itself includes eight dances and two musical numbers, including a traditional Filipino bamboo dance called Singkill.” All the dances were choreographed by students.

p. “One of our final dances [the Singkill] is with 20 people,” said junior Rob Landicho, also a Culture Night co-chair. “It is very difficult and actually pretty dangerous. It is pretty cool and I think people are going to like it.”

p. The story line behind the show is a convergence of three different Filipino-Americans. “It is three intertwined stories,” said Landicho. “You follow three different characters’ paths. One is in the army, another is a cultural nut and one is a normal, ghetto, hip-hop kid. They all are Filipino, but each with different experiences.”

p. Landicho and Lorenzo wrote the script together from personal experiences. “The show is based on our experiences with our families, friends and in our lives. It is not specific to Filipino culture, it just highlights Filipino culture.”

p. Senior and FASA President Tara Pascual worked as a choreographer on the show. “[The goal of the show] is based on FASA’s mission statement. FASA wants to educate the college and the community about Filipino-American culture and create a better understanding,” said Pascual.

p. The students also use the dinner as a way to educate and give people a well-rounded cultural experience. “Dinner is basically authentic Filipino cuisine. It is another way to share Filipino culture with everyone.”

p. FASA is not only made up of Filipino-Americans, but many students — from various backgrounds — that are intrested in Filipino culture.

p. “The group of performers is very diverse. It is a lot of people coming together to have fun,” said Landicho. “I brought in a lot of my friends for the show.”

p. Not only is the show’s cast diverse, but so are the types of dances included. “We have many dances and they highlight hip-hop, traditional Filipino dancing, martial arts and many other things,” said Landicho. “This is a show that has something for everyone to relate to.”

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