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Philippine dance

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Title: Philippine dance  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Philippine literature, Art of the Philippines, Higher education in the Philippines, Health in the Philippines, List of festivals in the Philippines
Collection: Dances of the Philippines
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Philippine dance

As varied are the people of the Philippines, so too are the dances. There are many dances performed in the Philippine Islands such as the popular "Tinikling", to the exoticized "Pangalay", to the skill-based interpretation of the "Bangka" and Spanish-tinged "Jota". Dance categorizations range from geographic localization, to socialization functions, to dance influences, and to time traveling.


  • Geographic localization 1
  • Societal function 2
  • Dance influences 3
  • Time periods 4
  • Contemporary outlook 5

Geographic localization

Presentation of Dances in the Philippines are often categorized in ethnic or geographic localization. These localization are often presented in the following:

  • Dances of the Cordillera Mountains (Igorot)
  • Dances of the Taga-Ummah (Muslim)
  • Dances of the Traditionalists (Lumad)
  • Dances of the Low-land Western-Christians

Societal function

Other less common presentations of Philippine dances have been categorized by societal functions. Philippine dances not only convey the artistry of movement but, are often associated with a life-function such as a wedding, the mimicry of birds, or even the warding of evil spirits. This outlook on dance can be looked at in the following categories.

  • Ritualistic dances
  • Mimetic dances
  • Life-cycle dances
  • Party dances

Dance influences

Another presentation of dances is through contrasting the influences of Southeast and mainland Asia with the influences of the Spanish and Americans.

  • Southeast Asian Influence
  • Mainland Asian Influence
  • Spanish Influences
  • American Influences

Time periods

Dances of the Philippine needs to be looked at the Time-period in which they are taken. As culture is constantly evolving, dances often change along with the times. Philippine dance can be categorized in these time periods:

  • Pre-colonial
  • Spanish Colonial
  • American Period
  • Modern and Post-Modern

Contemporary outlook

As the popularity of the Pilipino Cultural Nights and the Folk Arts groups gain their ascendency, so too, does the need to create and recreate Philippine dance forms. Among these contemporary issues are the ideas of bringing the village dance into the stage, the connections among the various Philippine dance, the ownership of world-influence and the dances of Filipinos from the diaspora.

  • From the Village to Stage
  • Interconnection of Philippine Dance
  • Filipinizing world influences
  • Dances from the Diaspora
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