Showing off the bright side
Folk ensemble group brings cheerful and diverse culture from the Philippines to Prince Albert
When the Kumintang Folk Ensemble leaves the stage after a performance, one of the most common questions they get is “where was that from?”
It’s something the traditional Filipino dance group from Saskatoon has gotten used to, and they’re always eager to give an answer.
“Before, people were just curious about it. They would see us dance a few times and wonder, ‘what culture are you from?’” explains Alejandro Lara, a dancer and one of three group managers. “We get that question a lot.” of a number of acts at Tapestrama, the annual multicultural arts event at Plaza 88.
Kumintang Folk Ensemble performances utilized sashes, fans and bamboo as part of a number of traditional dances like the Capa Malong Malong and Pagapir.
“(Dancing) is more like the vibrant, happy and cheerful side of the Philippines,” Complido says. “I just hope that people see that side of the Fillipino community, that we’re really inviting and like to have a good time.”
Cruz, Lara and Complido all started dancing as children. However, they also all took a break from dancing as adults. Since then they’ve returned to the ensemble, which performs at shows and festivals across Saskatchewan.
Performing is a labour of love for the non-profit group, not just to bring the culture to others, but to learn a bit about it themselves.
“Because a lot of us were born here in Canada, it really gives us a way to represent our culture and to learn more about our culture,” Complido says. “That, plus being like a family together as a group is something I really like.”
The Kumintang Folk Ensemble performs a traditional dance from the Philippines with fans and bamboo at Tapestrama on Saturday.