Philippine American Performing Arts of Greater Pittsburgh


We are all excited about the upcoming Recital, which we’re making the best yet! We have many new costumes and dances, and the kids just keep outshining themselves in their performances.

The theme is “Luzviminda”*, and we will be taking a tour of the major island groups of the Philippines, told through dance and music.

Philippine Folk Dance Troup

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM.
Hillman Center for the Performing Arts
423 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238


*Luzviminda (sometimes LuzViMinda) is a portmanteau of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the names of the three major Philippine island groups. It is a slightly dated feminine given name.





Philippine-American Performing Arts of Greater Pittsburgh will present its third annual recital and dinner on November 22 at 4:00 p.m. in Fox Chapel. Fifty dancers, age 4 and up, will present folk dances that reflect the history and culture of a nation composed of over 7,000 islands. The title of this year’s recital–LUZVIMINDA, A Dance Journey through the Islands–comes from a portmanteau of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the three major island groups of the Philippines.

The dance troupe will present 22 various folk dances, including some that have never before been seen in Pittsburgh. Different regions of the Philippines have vastly different folk dances as a result of either isolation (tribal groups) or diverse foreign influences (Indo-Malayan, Arabian, Chinese, Spanish, and American). Filipino dances portray courtship, weddings, festivals, harvest, thanksgiving and even war.

Josephine Crooks, a popular Filipino singer who has appeared extensively in the Pittsburgh area, will be sharing her talents between the dances.

The recital will be held at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts in Shady Side Academy, 423 Fox Chapel Road. The cost for the concert only is $10. A $20 ticket includes a Filipino dinner. To reserve tickets, or call 412-373-3239.

Highlighted dances:

Two indigenous dances from Mindanao will make their Pittsburgh premier in this recital. Tig-anii, from the Manabo tribe, refers to the planting and harvesting of rice, climaxed by the killing of a ferocious hawk that has menaced the farmers. In Tahing Baila, the sea-faring Yakan people dance for a bountiful fish catch, imitating the playful movements of fishes.

In Banga-Salidsid, Kalinga maidens balance heavy earthen pots (banga) on their heads. They march to the beat of wind chimes displaying stamina and strength, traits that a Kalinga man looks for in his bride. After he selects his bride, the couple perform a courtship dance (salidsid). The male mimics a rooster trying to attract the attention of a hen.

The dance of lights (Pandanggo sa Ilaw) is performed with lighted oil lamps balanced on the heads and the backs of the hands of female dancers. The fishermen swinging (“wasiwas”) lighted lamps wrapped in transparent scarves join in to celebrate a good catch.

The most popular of the Philippine dances and honored as the Philippine national dance, the Tinikling requires skill and agility from its dancers who step and turn between rapidly beaten bamboo poles. The dance imitates the movement of herons as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers.

About Philippine-American Performing Arts of Greater Pittsburgh:

Philippine-American Performing Arts of Greater Pittsburgh (PAPAGP) was organized in 2012 to preserve and promote Filipino culture through dance, music, and other creative and performing arts. Its mission is to instill in its members a deeper understanding and appreciation of their rich cultural heritage and proudly share this with the general public. PAPAGP carries out its mission through its dance troupe which introduces and teaches the art of Filipino folk dancing and nurtures the appreciation of this ethnic expression. PAPAGP is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has 501 (c) 3 status.