Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company Performs at Mason Arts Centers

Posted: November 10, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Filled with radiant visual beauty, intense passion and authentic traditional dance, a performance by the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company is a magical experience for the whole family.

The Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company makes its Hylton Performing Arts Center debut on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m., and returns to the Center for the Arts Concert Hall in Fairfax on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m.

This esteemed dance ensemble is the official company of the Philippines and has spent more than 50 years bringing the beauty, culture, dance and musical traditions of its homeland to audiences around the world.

In costumes that are both intricate and brilliantly colorful, the ensemble performs spectacular folk dances that embody the country’s diverse indigenous Chinese, Spanish and Middle Eastern cultures, promoting togetherness and international understanding.

The first half of the program will feature well-loved Bayanihan dances from the past 50 years, as well as a suite that fuses new technology with folk dance and is inspired by the company’s “Teaching and Touching Lives” program, formed from a partnership with local government leaders in the Philippines.

After intermission, the company presents “Mestizaje y Criolleria,” a suite that captures the fire and passion of the Spanish culture in music and dances once performed inside and outside the walls of Manila.

In the finale “The Philippinescape,” the company celebrates the rhythm and colors of its homeland and pays tribute to Philippine National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, who celebrated the Philippine countryside and beautiful traditions of the country in his masterpieces.

Named after the ancient Filipino tradition of “bayanihan,” which means working together for a common good, Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company was founded in 1956 by Helena Z. Benitez of the Philippine Women’s University. In 1957, it was formally organized as the Bayanihan Folk Arts Center with the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company as its performing arm.

The organization and company’s mission was to preserve indigenous Philippine art forms in music, dance, costumes and folklore; to use these research findings to develop repertoires suited to the demands of contemporary theater; and to promote goodwill through performances at home and abroad.

In 2000, the Filipino government officially designated Bayanihan the National Folk Dance Company of the Philippines, an honor the company wears with pride as it continues to strive for artistic excellence and creative innovation.

Pre-performance discussions by a member of the Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company, free to ticket holders, begin one hour prior to the performance in the Gallery Space at the Hylton Performing Arts Center and 45 minutes prior to the performance at the Center for the Arts on the Center’s Grand Tier. Pre-performance discussions at the Center for the Arts are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts. Novant Health is the Inaugural Season Sponsor of Hylton Presents at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. HSBC Bank is the Global View Series Sponsor at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax.

Ticket information: Tickets for all performances for youth through grade 12 are half price when the child is accompanied by an adult. Hylton Performing Arts Center: Tickets are $42, $34 and $26. Visit the box office or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit hyltoncenter.org.

Center for the Arts: Tickets are $46, $38 and $23. Visit the box office or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.

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