Show­ing off the bright side

Folk ensem­ble group brings cheer­ful and di­verse cul­ture from the Philip­pines to Prince Al­bert

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - JA­SON KERR

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.”

JA­SON KERR/DAILY HER­ALD

The Ku­mintang Folk Ensem­ble per­forms a tra­di­tional dance from the Philip­pines with fans and bam­boo at Tapestrama on Satur­day.

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