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By MARILYN ABALOS
Exclusive to the Filipino Reporter


Kinding Sindaw recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary in New York City with its colorful and memorable presentation of the legend of Tabunaway and Mamalu, the two brothers whose families and peoples made up Mindanao.

With dance, music and song/chant, Kinding Sindaw’s dance drama brought to life the oral history of these indigenous people.

Mindanao The Legend was brilliantly created, choreographed and directed by Potri Ranka Manis.

Mindanao The Legend at La Mama was a family affair where the tales, rituals and spirit were conveyed in an intimate salon.

Original cultural dance moves and musical traditions depicted tabloids of the story of Tabunaway and Mamalu.

The dance drama portrayed Tabunaway as a “skillful forest gatherer and considered as the Datu” while Mamalu was the fishing family in the village.

The quaint and treasured day to day life from the farm to the sea, courtship and marriage, as well as tribal practices in tune with nature was a delight to see.


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The traditional dance enhanced by the Kulintang gong ensemble and heightened by magnificent costumes was truly delightful.

The arrival and propagation of Islam in Mindanao was shown.

Tabunaway was converted into the Islam faith and his clan became the Maguindanaos.

Mamalu, who wanted to retain the tribal beliefs, moved to the highlands of the Pulangi River where Mamalu clan became known as the Manobo.

The indigenous people of the Lumad and Moro are descendants of Tabunaway and Mamalu.

We were pummeled by repeated passages of invasions and strife by foreign forces.

The resilience and indomitable spirit of the people are passionately, fiercely and proudly depicted.

The dance drama was vivid and dazzling.

The dances are choreographed by Potri Ranka Manis, Nodiah Biruar, Inteshar Mohammed, Bai Lani Kalifa Morales, with assistance by dance captains Amira Roca, Diane Camino and Rose Yapching.


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The Silat martial arts movements are choreographed by Guro Frank Ortega.

The traditional music was remarkable.

Musical accompaniment was played by Malaika Queano, Nonilon Queano, Amir Rasoulpour and Lisa Parker, visiting tradition-bearers from Mindanao.


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