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Sayaw Diversity performs Filipino dances in Virginia show

Monica Galozo | TFC News Virginia

Posted at Nov 15 2023 06:09 PM

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Rural dances, dances from the mountains, dances with spanish influence, and those reflecting Arabian and Indo-Malayan cultures.

The audience at the Perkinson Center for the Arts and Education was given a glimpse of the rich and diverse culture of the Philippines during the dance production titled “Pamana” or heritage.

The traditional Filipino dances from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were showcased in Chester, Virginia by the volunteer dance group Sayaw Diversity, in celebration of Filipino-American History Month.
Dhol Tuason and her team balanced ethnic, folk movements, with contemporary ones to give the audience an experience that allowed them to further appreciate Filipino culture.
Tuason shared that she visited the Philippines earlier this year where she learned more about the local dances and its culture.

This, she said, gave her the idea of putting up the Pamana dance production.

During the show, San Francisco-based dance group Parangal Dance Company, led by its artistic director and founder, Eric Solano, performed alongside Sayaw Diversity.

Tuason said most of the members of Sayaw Diversity are not trained dancers, but that didn’t stop them from persevering.
"All of [them], they really tried their very best, and a lot of them are non-dancers," she said. "But I think you have seen on stage how great they perform, right?"
The performances of Sayaw Diversity members drew praise from those who attended.

"I think they did a very great job," said Mila Aguilar. "I was really impressed and I'm really proud to say that I am part of the country with this beautiful culture."
The FilAms who watched the performance also said they were able to gain a better understanding and appreciation of their Filipino roots.

"It makes me miss the Philippines," Joy Hilario said. "I haven't been home for about 12 years. So, seeing the performance and the dancers and their expression I think it tells how Filipinos are friendly and hospitable."