SAN FRANCISCO BASED PARANGAL DANCE COMPANY SHOWCASED PHILIPPINE CULTURE IN PORTUGAL and SPAIN
By Denise Wong
September 7, 2016
Continuing its epic journey of paying tribute to Philippine culture throughout the world, San Francisco-based Parangal Dance Company wrapped up its invitational appearance at Folkfaro in Faro, Portugal, on August 28.
Known as the 2016 Folkfaro International Folklore City of Faro, the eight-day festival showcased about 300 dancers from Brazil, France, Georgia, Germany, Kenya, Philippines, and Portugal at both local performances in the Faro area and guest appearances in Spain for the 37th Festival Internacional de Danzas Villablanca in Palos de la Frontera and Villablanca. Faro is the capital of southern Portugal's Algarve region, the beautiful and sunny mecca for vacationers seeking to enjoy the warm waves of the Atlantic Ocean and the impressive array of cork souvenirs sold beachside.
As a milestone of cultural exchange for both parties, the 14th edition of Folkfaro marked the first time the Philippines was represented in the festival. Likewise, Folkfaro was Parangal's first international tour since its inception in 2008. Parangal is humbled to have been involved as a U.S based Philippine dance company.
The Folkfaro experience was not only extremely unique, but also very fitting for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it represented to Parangal's 20 touring performing artists. The festival provided numerous occasions for the company to spread Philippine culture throughout the Faro community; the venues ranged from a cobblestone plaza modified into a stage to a sold-out, 1000-seat theater at Teatro das Figuras. Housed in a converted middle school and bussed to a new performance venue every evening, the group took on eight performances in the span of eight days.
Parangal’s main show showcased an hour-long program at Folkfaro’s Main Stage in downtown Faro, exhibiting cultural pieces from the Ga'dang, Kalinga, Maguindanao, Subanen, Tau Sug, and Yakan indigenous groups. On some days, the group also performed Spanish-influenced dances as a bonus for its audiences.
Parangal's successful first international tour served as a solid testament to both the company's incredible growth and indubitable ability to create magic with their fellow dancers, both on- and off-stage. The company wishes to express a muito obrigado (thank you very much) to Folkfaro director Amabelio Pereira, the Folkfaro staff, and Parangal’s tour group for their tireless work to present Philippine culture on this prestigious stage.
We are honored to showcase the dances and teachings of the indigenous people from whom we have learned multitudes. Parangal aims to let others know that these indigenous people are still there, and that we can use the power and language of dance to create friendships and peace amongst nations and people of the world.
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