Parangal Dance Company offers free workshops for Filipino students in California starting January 2019

Photo credit: Parangal Dance Company Facebook Page

California-based Parangal Dance Company, specializing in indigenous people culture and arts from the Philippines, is offering folk dance workshops open to the public from ages 13 and up – free of charge.

The dance company is inviting dance enthusiasts to learn more about Filipino ethnic groups through their native costumes, music and dances in free workshops every first Friday of the month starting January up to June 2019 at the Bay Area Ballet Conservatory in South San Francisco, California.

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In an interview with GNP, Artistic Director Eric Solano said one of their objectives is to help Filipino student organizations with their stage performances.

“We have many Filipino clubs from colleges and universities that produce Philippine Culture Night between February and June. The workshop would serve as a channel to guide the club members/directors on what they can possibly present this year’s PCN or future ones,” said Solano.

Solano added that the students will also learn the proper dance movements, attires, music and other important elements in stage productions.

He also plans to encourage the attendees to “attend other Fridays so they can see and experience the difference of dynamics of workshop and company rehearsals,” with the hope they will eventually join the dance company in the future.

The company’s performing artists welcomed the upcoming workshop – their first after 3 years – because of their busy schedule, seasonal performances and invitations in various events and festivals in different parts of the United States and other countries.

The free dance workshop is envisioned to help the new and current members to review the basic or fundamental of dance, to level up their dance techniques and to review their current repertoire and the new dances the company is working on – a complete preparation for their upcoming dance season and international tours.

In 2018, Parangal Dance Company company performed Maranao dances based on the epic Darangen at the 40th San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in California, represented the country’s indigenous people culture in Folclórico Internacional de Barraquilla Estefania Caicedo in Colombia, danced in Pistahan Parade and Festival in California, and staged their 10th anniversary concert “Padayon” aside from other engagements and invitations.

Eric Solano also shared that the dance company is planning to hold its first-ever training workshops for children.

“This year, we plan to pilot a dance training for children focused on indigenous dances we have learned from our culture bearers so we can pass it on to next generation of dance practitioners,” he added. The details for the said training are still being determined.

Parangal Dance Company’s free dance workshop is part of the Filipino dance group’s commitment to promote Philippine culture and guiding Filipinos in the U.S. to find and celebrate their roots.

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Atom Pornel is a tourism and broadcast journalism major who loves local art and heritage and is passionate about anything good news from the Philippines. Born from a Bicolano-Odionganon father and Waray mother, he has grown appreciation of our diversity as nation.