What is the history of Filipino folk dance?

Answer

The history of Filipino folk dance stretches back to the prehistory of the Philippines as an Asian culture, but carries many more recent elements incorporated after the Spanish conquest. The Filipino people, language and culture are all a mix of both native Asiatic tradition and imports from the Spaniards and Moors. Filipino folk dance is still mostly based on the Asiatic tradition, but several of the dances do show signs of Western influence.

The dances most heavily influenced by the Spaniards are the courtship dances, in which dancers wear traditional Spanish garb. Idudu is a very old dance form portraying a day in the life of a traditional Filipino family. Maglalatik, a dance of war, comes from a time when the Philippines had encountered the Spanish conquerors, but had not yet been converted to Christianity, and features dancers portraying Moro tribesmen in red in stylized battle with Spanish soldiers in blue.

The Spaniards were not the first people from the West to encounter the Filipinos. Long before that, Muslims were encountered by the Filipinos and had a separate influence on their culture. Certain dances, such as the Ipat, date back to Filipino prehistory, but still show the influence of Islamic conversions in their regions of origin.

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The History of Filipino Folk Dance
Philippine folk dance has a long and diverse history. Each region in the Philippines features its own folk dances, originating from the precolonial era to the time of the Spanish occupation from the 1500s until the late 1800s. Most of these Filipino folk... More »
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