Written by NAV Vol. 2 Participant: Kenneth Atienza
Not hip-hop, not jazz, and no, certainly not ballet. The NAV boys had a collaborative workshop with the CLUTCH girls and learned some Traditional Dance moves that originated from some Filipino Folk Dances. Many thanks to Jodee Aguillon, a member of the cultural dance group HATAW, who choreographed a minute-long piece, which by the way, was supposed to be 30 seconds long. Well, the NAV boys and CLUTCH girls are fast learners, so there’s really not much of a surprise there.
The boys started the workshop with some really simple stretching exercises. Always remember, stretching is good to prevent any injuries, so don’t forget to stretch. Once everyone was warmed up and ready to go, Jodee started with some basic 8-count routines that are incorporated in dances that the boys were about to learn. The boys were separated from the girls because they were learning different choreography. After being settled, Jodee introduced the boys to an infinity scarf-like apparel called the “malong”. The malong is a piece of accessory that indigenous royalty in the Philippines would wear. Look at the boys as they rock the malongs.
The boys then learned how to dance with the malong and how that one piece of clothing can be twisted and turned and used as a prop for one dance piece. But the fun doesn’t end there, the boys were asked to handle some bamboo sticks as part of the entire routine. The bamboo sticks added the thrill in the entire performance. As part of the CLUTCH girls’ routine, they needed to pass underneath the bamboo sticks that the NAV boys were alternating, lifting up and down. Simply imagine a classic video game where you need to pass through moving blades; it is exactly like that, just less lethal.
After about two hours of rehearsing and continuous practice, the boys and the girls were able to combine their choreography into a full one-minute routine of traditional dance moves infused with some contemporary elements in it. Surprisingly, the NAV boys and CLUTCH girls were able to perform something amazing in such a short span of time. It was indeed a fun and informative workshop for both the NAV boys and CLUTCH girls.