“If you remember the resilience of your ancestors, you can never be conquered.”
Concept, Direction and Choreography by Potri Ranka Manis
Mindanao production will focus on the resilience of the indigenous peoples of the southern Philippines as passed through generations of oral tradition in the legend of the brothers Tabunaway and Mamalu, the fathers of all indigenous peoples in Mindanao. Mindanao, an oasis of vibrant green mountains that clothed wealthy soil, was an abundant land stewarded by two brothers, Tabunaway and Mamalu.
Mindanao will bring you into the lives of these two brothers who nurtured the land through rituals that depict the cycle of life (planting, harvesting, weddings, birthing, healing). Their colorful way of life is reflected through ritual dance movements of nature, particularly the water that reflects the serenity of the lake, the gentle ripple and the buoyant movements of the ocean. The story is accompanied by Kulintang gong music and chants of the Mindanao tradition-bearers. Mountains and rainforests are caught in the winds of fierce typhoons of this spirited land of the naga (dragon) and the Sarimanok (mythical bird) which are brought to life through the power of Silat martial arts movement. Woven in the legend are Mindanao’s history in which divide and rule tactics lead to the eventual desecration of this beauty by the colonizers who sought to plunder its wealth. For centuries, the descendants of Tabunaway and Mamalu are repeatedly invaded and sieged by foreign forces. Yet, they remain steadfast and rise from the ashes as they uphold the undaunted spirit of their ancestors whose resilience keep them unconquered.
Musical accompaniment include the Kulintang (graduated brass gongs), Dabakan (drum), Sarunay (miniature Kulintang), Agong (gong), Babandir (Metronome), Gandingan (talking gongs), and Kubing (jaw harp) by Malaika Queano, Nonilon Queano, Amir Rasoulpour, and Lisa Parker, visiting tradition-bearers from Mindanao. The dances are choreographed by Potri Ranka Manis, Nodiah Biruar, Inteshar Mohammed, Bai Lani Kalifa Morales, with assistance by dance captains Amira Roca, Diane Camino, and Rose Yapching. The Silat martial arts movements are choreographed by Guro Frank Ortega. Production manager is Melanie Dulfo, Assistant Directors are Malaika Queano, Mohammed Zebede Dimaporo and Andre Dimapilis.
The wardrobes of this dance theater are authentic to the region, being woven by people from the tribes represented in order to advocate for the continuity of the weaving, and also include heirlooms of the tradition-bearer members who are a part of the indigenous immigrant community.
“Kinding Sindaw created magic” - The New York Times
“Sublime cultural journey...pervasive heart-pounding beats...visually captivating , -Asian Journal
“A marvel of color and pageantry” -Dancer’s Magazine
About the Artists
Kinding Sindaw (Dance of Light), founded in 1992 by Potri Ranka Manis, is renowned for its majestic dance theater productions which recreate the traditions of dance, music, martial arts, storytelling, and oratory of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines. Its repertoire is taken from the arts of the Iranun, T'boli, Maranao, Maguindanao, Yakan, Higaoonon, and Tausug peoples of the southern Philippines. By asserting their arts and traditions, the historical and contemporary stories of these peoples are brought to life. The Philippines, with over 7,100 islands, has a wide variety of genres of dance and music. This troupe specializes in a genre from the Sultanate of the Southern Philippines, with its ancestral dances, Kulintang music and Silat martial arts. In addition to La MaMa, the troupe has performed at the Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution, the World Trade Center, Theatre of the Riverside Church, the Alabama International Festival and various community and grass-roots events.