36th Annual SF Ethnic Dance Festival: Bringing the World on the Dance Stage

36th Annual SF Ethnic Dance Festival: Bringing the World on the Dance Stage

Parangal Dance Company to perform June 21-22 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

ONE of the world’s greatest gatherings of dance artists returns to San Francisco this year at the 36th annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. From June 5-29, audiences will thrill to 31 extraordinary dance companies and over 300 dancers and musicians at the wildly anticipated event, highlighting the rich cultural and artistic diversity of the Bay Area.

Classical Indian sattriya dance, the first Festival performance of kathakali since 1978, a special Nelson Mandela Tribute at San Francisco City Hall, and the announcement of details about next year’s Pan-Pacific International Exposition Centennial are among the highlights of this year’s Festival. In addition, Indian Consul General Nagesh Parthasarathi will present Katherine and K.P. Kunhiraman with the Festival’s annual Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award at the June 14 evening performance.

Also as part of this year’s events, Festival artistic directors Carlos Carvajal and CK Ladzekpo will announce plans to celebrate the Centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition with two weekends of performances in February 2015 at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Festival’s home for more than 25 years and the only remaining grand struc- ture from the 1915 Exposition. Further details about the Centennial celebration and the twenty groups performing on the Festival stage will be released soon.

Since its inauguration in 1978, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival has maintained its preeminent scope and reputation as one of the most comprehensive, widely respected, diverse, and engaging events of its kind in the world.

Parangal Dance Company

Among the 300 dancers and 30 internationally-focused dance companies who auditioned and selected to perform is Parangal Dance Company, headed by its Director, Eric Solano. This year, Parangal is proud to present Pangaddatan sin Ta’u Sug (Ta’u Sug customs and traditions) on June 21-22.

Solano, who has also been recently selected as Master Artist by Alliance for California Tradition Arts for the Ta’u Sug Pangalay dance form, personally went to the Philippines to immerse and research the tradition, culture and dance of the Ta’u Sugs.

Helping him with the story or piece for their performance is Ta’u Sug Cultural Master Sitti Obeso or Aunty Lingling, to make sure that the group’s attire, songs, chants and all details are authentic and true to the Ta’u Sug culture. Aunty Lingling, to make sure that the group’s attire, songs, chants and all details are authentic and true to the Ta’u Sug culture. Aunty Lingling is also a former member of the pioneering Ta’u Sug performing arts, the Dayang-Dayang Dance Troupe, which was founded in the 1970s.

Award-winning visual artist, and performer Mark Tolentino also made sure that designs and details—from dowry, crowns, head pieces, attires and wedding decorations—are as similar to the ancient Ta’u Sugs. Ta’u Sug comes from two words: ta’u means person, and sug, current. They are coastal people of the current from Jolo, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and other parts of Sulu archipelago in Philippines including Davao, are known for their colorful vinta boats and mastery in weaving, embroidery, pottery, and goldsmithing. Ta’u Sugs are well known for dance— Pangalay, rooted in tradition that predates the arrivals of both Christianity and Islam in the Philippines.

This is the first ever Pangaddatan sin Ta’u Sug performance at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Tickets to the San Franisco Ethnic Dance Festival are $18-$58. Family matinees on Saturday afternoons offer 50% discount to children age 12 and under, and group discounts are also available. For more information about the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, artists, tickets and schedule of performances please log on to www.sfethnicdancefestival.org or call (415) 474-3914.

*Special thanks to Terry Conway, Marketing and Com- munications Director, World Arts West and Eric Solano of Parangal Dance Group.
*Photo credits on cover, Parangal Dance Group photo and inside photos by Phoebe Aviles of This is It Photography, bottom photos by RJ Muna.

(SF June 5, 2014 SF Magazine pg.2)

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