~ Culture is the widening

of the mind

and of the spirit ~


-  Jawaharlal Nehru





































San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Program 2011



People of the Current refers to the Tausug, an Islamic tribal group in the Sulu Archipelago, Philippines. The Tausug live beside, on and in water: diving for pearls in turquoise waters and navigating treacherous tides of the Sulu, China and Celebes Seas. In this staging of Tausug dance, divers descend into clear waters and then ride home on a colorful vinta boat. Intricate movements and abrupt transitions reflect violent waves and currents as well as the Tausug’s unpredictable fierceness. They are called Tau Maisug “brave people” for three centuries of resistance of Spanish colonization. They regard themselves superior to other Philippine Muslims and remain combative. One proverb says: Hanggang maybuhay, may pag asa: Never admit defeat as long as you live.

The pangalay style is distinctively Asian among Southern Philippine dances. The dancer moves up and down, torso rigid, feet planted on the ground, while the rest of the body moves with intricate dexterity. Brass janggay fingernails simulate corals. (They come from an earlier Buddhist tradition.)

The patterned male headgear and clothes slung across the shoulder are made of hand-woven Tausug textile (habul). The skirt (patadjung) with its imported patterns has many uses: as head cover, waistband, blanket, or hammock. A satin blouse (biyatawi) with tambuku buttons is worn with silk and brocade sawal trousers.

At least five players are needed for the kulintangan ensemble: playing kulintang –a graduated series of eight to eleven small gongs – and gandang drums, a large gong, and another set of paired gongs. Tausug also play a gabbang xylophone with fourteen to twenty-four keys in seven-note scales.

Jay Loyola, scholar of Philippine indigenous dance, created the piece. Radel Josef Lopez is collaborative musical director for indigenous instruments.

Barangay Dance Company of San Francisco promotes preservation, awareness, understanding and appreciation of Philippine cultural heritage through research, outreach and presentation of folk dances and music. Barangay or balangay was a large swift boat that carried the first Malay families to the Philippines, and the word came to mean a clan or family. Barangay Dance Company is a family – immigrant and American-born, young and young-at-heart – bound by a mutual love for Philippine dance and music.

Dance Origin: Southern Philippines · Genre: Indigenous (Pangalay) · Title: Tau Sug (People of the Current) · Artistic Director/Founder: Bonifacio Valera · Executive Director: Rona Ronquillo · Costume Design: Patricia Valera, Anabel Ramos-Lopez · Choreographer: Jay Loyola · Dancers: Marijoy Angeles, Marjorie Anicete, Christine Aquino, Gina Battad, Joel Cayabyab, Rommel Conclara, Kevin Cortes (January audition), Garrett Hom, Henry Lao, Aikenne Mauricio (January audition), Jonathan Mercado, Jemelee Peralta, Emily Piros, Evan Reyes, Jan Salas, Allan Tiña, Jonathan Tioseco, Janine Yalun · Musicians:  Roel Buenaventura (agung), Richard Fernandez (kulintang & flute - January audition), Mikaela Reyes (kulintang & agung), Rona Ronquillo (agung), Bonifacio Valera (gandang), Janine Yalun (flute)