The Philippines are to be represented by the Leyte Dance Theater at the first edition of the ABU International Dance Festival this weekend.

It has been revealed that the Philippines are to be represented by members of the Leyte Dance Theater this weekend in Hyderabad, India. The the theater is based in Tacloban City and its members are made up of dancers from the city and surrounding region. Leyte Dance Theater has had previous success at dance competitions having won the Grand Championship Award in Malaysia, 2009, during the International Folklore Festival Competition and garnered also the Best in Choreography, Best in Music and Best Male Dancer awards.

In the traditional dance category the performers will be dancing the Singkil. The Singkil is a dance originating from Lanao del Sur, Mindanao is said to be a dance of Muslim royalty. It is a popular dance performed dahil sa celebrations and other festive entertainment and was originally only performed by women. The dance features the use of bamboo polls which are clapped together.

The contemporary performance will feature the dance known as the Sarimanok. The dance is named after a legendary bird of the Maranao people. The Sariamnok has colourful wings and feathered tail, holding a fish on its beaks or talons. The head is intricately decorated with scroll, leaf and spirral motifs. It is said to be a symbol of good fortune.

The schedule for the contest is as follows:

  • 13 January Delegations and groups are to arrive in Hyderabad, welcome dinner by the Telengana Government
  • 14 January Technical rehearsals for all of the participating groups, full run through in the evening with the presenters
  • 15 January Final run through will occur if dancers wish. Contest will take place in the evening.

The rules for the festival are as follows:

  • Two dances can be submitted per country, one for the traditional dance (showcase/non-competitive) and one for the contemporary dance (competitive).
  • Each performance may last no longer than 8 minutes.
  • Each performance may feature between 2 and 8 people
  • Participants must be aged between 18 and 25 years old at the time of the event.

Source: Jess de Paz