Tinikling Dance: Dancing with the Pole

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What do birds, a bamboo pole and dance have in common? They are all involved in one Philippines folk dance, Tinikling.

FACTS ABOUT TINIKLING

Tinikling is a Philippine Folk dance that uses two long bamboo poles and two short bamboo poles, the two long poles are tapping and sliding to each other with a rhythm while the dancers dance. The dance steps of Tinikling was an imitation of a bird called Tikling. Tikling is a bird with a long legs and neck and can be found at the farm playing at the bamboo poles. Tinikling was originated from Visayas and then spread throughout the Philippines.

But there is another story about the origin of Tinikling dance according to some Tinikling dance was inspired by the story of the servants in the Spanish era. The servants who didn’t work enough have to face punishment. The servant has to stand between two poles in the ground then their feet will be hit by the pole. The servants will jump to escape the hit of the pole. That’s where the Tinikling dance step came from but this story does not have enough proof and considered as hearsay.

THE DANCE

The dance consists of a boy, a girl and two persons who will tap the pole. The boy’s hand has to be place at his back while the girl’s hand is holding her skirt. As the dance starts the dancers have to bow first before the dance. The dance steps have five basic steps and all the dance steps consist of hopping over the bamboo poles. The rhythm of the bamboos tapping is going faster and faster to add excitement to the presentation.

THE MODERN TINIKLING

Today, we can still witness Tinikling dance in some programs. It is still used to entertain guests and it still receives lots of admiration from the viewers. In America, Tinikling is included in school Physical Education curriculum; it is used as an aerobic exercise to increase the foot work, hand coordination and the rhythm of the students and the American made the five basic steps into four basic steps. Tinikling is now used as a part of martial arts.

PHILIPPINES’ PRIDE

Tinikling proof itself as one of the great folk dances of the Philippines. It gives pride and honor whenever Tinikling is presented in any program. The grace and thrill of the dance steps is what makes Tinikling watchable.

Tinikling dance also shows how creative Filipinos are because they transform a simple bird’s act into a beautiful dance.

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