The Bayanihan National Dance Company of the Philippines marked the milestone 62nd anniversary of its debut performance with a tribute to the Filipino spirit as it looked back to its beginnings.
The Philippine Women’s University-based Filipino folk dance group was founded in 1956 by the late Dr. Helena Z. Benitez as Bayanihan Folk Dance Group. It was formally organized the following year and was named as Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company.
Since then, Bayanihan was tasked to “research on and preserve indigenous Philippine art forms in music, dance, costumes and folklore” and to create “repertoires suited to the demands of contemporary theater.”
The 13-time World Grand Prize Winner dance company took the Filipino term “Bayanihan”, which means working together for a common good, as its name.
The group debuted on May 27, 1958, at the Brussels World Fair in Belgium where it started gaining recognition and global fame.
With its efforts to introducing the Filipino culture on the international stage through its tours, the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company was recognized as the country’s national folk dance company through Republic Act 8626 on April 15, 1998, during the 10th Congress.
On July 5 of the following year, then-President Joseph Estrada declared May 27 every year as “National Day to Commemorate and propagate the Bayanihan spirit” through Proclamation No.138.
On its Facebook post on May 27, 2020, Bayanihan paid tribute to everyone who made contributions to the success of the multi-awarded Pinoy dance company.
“Inspired by Bayanihan, the National Dance Company of the Philippines, they performed and attained global fame and recognition for the country. Their performances show triumph of the Bayanihan spirit with artists, students, parents, university, businessmen and government working together in true Bayanihan tradition to put a cultural presentation on the international stage,” Bayanihan wrote on its Facebook post.
Inspired by the Bayanihan spirit to bring pride and glory to the Philippine, other Filipino folk dance groups have also been receiving recognition through their excellent repertoire and performances.
Cavite-based folk dance troupes composed of La Salle Filipiniana Dance Company (LSFDC) of De La Salle University – Dasmariñas (DLSU-D) and Cavite Institute Marilag Folkdance Troupe (CIMT) of Silang dominated the International Dance Organization (IDO) World Folklore Festival 2019 in South Korea.
Saint Louis University (SLU) Dance Troupe from Baguio City also participated in the 2019 Jinju World Folk Arts Biennale in Jinju, South Korea to showcase the beauty of Filipino folk dances.
The Parangal Dance Company of California in November 2019 represented the Philippines in the celebration of the 455th anniversary of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade in Mexico after showcasing Filipino dances and music in Folclórico Internacional de Barraquilla Estefania Caicedo in Colombia in 2018.
WATCH Bayanihan National Dance Company’s commemoration video here SEND THEM CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below.
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