To celebrate International Dance Day and the reeling back of pandemic restrictions in the country, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), through the National Commission for Dance, and festival director Shirley Halili Cruz showcased a dance concert at the newly-refurbished Metropolitan Theater.

The event, dubbed “Dance Xchange 2022,” featured live performances from different dance groups and dance styles after a long break caused by the global pandemic.

“The pandemic has held us back, as well as our artistic expressions. Now, we can have live shows such as this that supports dancers and artists from all over the country,” said NCCA Executive Director Oscar Casaysay.

The dance event celebrated a myriad of folk dances, which includes a performance combining the “banga” and “salidsid” movements from Lahing Batangas, a Yakkan duet from the Bayanihan Dance Company, Zamboanga del Sur’s modern take on “Gitara”, the Philippine Normal University Kislap Sining’s version of “binasuan,” the University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi’s take on “Jota Quirino,” Zamboanga del Sur High School’s interpretation of “Pangalay Suite” and Lakbay Sining Dance Company’s “Peacock of the North” performance of the “banga” choreography.

Memorable performances inspired by Lenten Passion, which depicts scenes of flagellation and centurion-clad dancers, were also presented during the celebration, specifically by Pangkat Mananayaw ng Sining BulakeƱo and dance troupes from Angeles, Pampanga.

Photo from Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival’s Official Facebook Page

Ballet performances from the Halili Cruz Dance Company, Likha PH, Ballet Manila, Silanganan Dance Troupe, and Iloilo’s Philippine Christian University also graced the annual dance exhibition.

Photo from Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival’s Official Facebook Page

The Junior Dance Crew and the J Crisis dance crew were also part of the event, wherein they performed stunt-filled renditions of “Ako ay Pilipino” in heels and “We Fly High” respectively.

Photo from Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival’s Official Facebook Page

Dance Sport was also highlighted during the event with breathtaking performances from the National Ballroom Ensemble. Meanwhile, the BNG duo, who are part of the persons with disabilities (PWD) community, performed an inspiring dance piece to the song “Rise Up.”

Photo from Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival’s Official Facebook Page

The annual International Dance Day celebration, which is celebrated on the 4th week of April every year as mandated by law, closed with Sindaw Maguindanao Performance Arts Guild’s rendition of “Singkil.”

Photo from Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival’s Official Facebook Page

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Image credit: Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Workshop and Festival’s Official Facebook Page