Tinikling is the national dance of the Philippines. It involves two bamboo poles that are hit on the ground or against each other to keep beat. Dancers dance in between the poles, and jump outside of them every time they are hit together, in order to not be caught in the bamboo. It is a fairly simple dance, but with some complicated movements. Missteps can lead to your feet being crushed.
Tinikling was named after a swift bird called the tikling. Rice farmers set up bamboo traps to catch these birds that would linger in their fields, but people later observed that the tinkling birds were quick and coordinated, and were able to dodge the bamboo traps in a graceful manner.
SFSU hosts a PCN, Pilipino Cultural Night, annually. It is a famous showcase of many traditional Philippine folk dances.
I danced Tinikling for last year’s show, the 39th anniversary of PCN, and received a standing ovation for our award-winning performance.
This was one of the most exhilarating moments of my college career, because I had never gotten such a response from a large crowd of people.
Not only did I feel accomplished, I made my relatives proud for representing my culture on stage.
Combining dance and culture, two things that define me, was an incredible feeling, and I invite you all to watch my performance, which I have included here.
– Jeanne Bautista –