DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Aug) — As a universal language that transcends mankind’s differences, Dance stands the test of time, staying alive in various forms, studying movements and spaces, and, more importantly, telling stories of people.
Entries in this year’s Sayaw Mindanaw, the annual dance contest of the Kadayawan Festival, emphasize indigenous Mindanao performance art, putting generous spotlight on tradition and folklore with creative processes that bring the old to the new.
Butuan-based Kadanao Dance Theatre won the grand prize for its elaborate piece that climaxed with the performers depicting a boat reminiscent of the Balangay or the first wooden watercraft excavated in Southeast Asia — in Mindanao’s Butuan City, historic proof of Filipino craftsmanship during pre-colonial times.
The same dance entry of Kadanao highlighted some acrobatics, rhythmic patterns, and synchronized movements that kept audiences engaged in the seven-minute performance.
Kadanao took home P100,000 for their victory.
The Madayaw Cultural Ensemble, another performing group to be reckoned with, won second place, capturing the hearts of the audience with their display of grace, strength, and balance as dancers mounted bamboo, one stunt after the other.
The Kathara Dance Theatre Collective, clad in bright traditional red outfits, won third place. Second and third place winners won P75,000 and P50,000, respectively.
Other community performing groups given due recognition for their craft and skills were Pantuyan National High School from Caraga, Mabini Performing Arts Guild, Agro High School Dance Troupe, Kemdol Lake Sebu Performing Arts, T’boli National High School, Matina Elementary School, and Kadumaan Community Ensemble.
Sayaw Mindanao committee chair Edmund Superada said he is delighted with the turnout of contestants as this has been consistently high since it was first staged in 1997. Dance entries this year came all the way from Butuan, Caraga, and Davao Oriental.
Songwriter and performer Maan Chua also took to the stage her wonderful stories of Mindanao through songs. She sang in the opening and in the closing.
With the music and dance filling the air, it’s easy to see how the arts can bring the people of Davao and Mindanao together. (Jesse Pizarro Boga / MindaNews)