A Singkil is a royal wooing dance performed by a prince and a princess. Dancers in Singkil are not encouraged to grin. Instead, they raise their chins, indicating the seriousness and intelligence of well-educated ladies. Three sets of dancers perform the famous Maranao dance. The first set performs while the second set watches and the third set joins in at the end.
The Maranaos are an ethnic group from the southern Philippines. They originally came from Malay Peninsula and settled in Lanao del Sur before going back to Malaysia. There are two types of Maranaos: Muslim Maranaos who live in Lanao del Sur and conduct business with Christians and non-Muslims; and Catholic Maranaos who live in northern Mindanao and cooperate with Muslims. The term "Maranao" is also used as a general name for people who speak Cebuano or Hiligaynon.
Singkil was invented by Raja Muda Udin, the fifth king of Maguindanao. He married a wife from Sultanate of Sulu and wanted to show his love to her. So he sent musicians to the Sultan's court to learn the sultan's favorite song which was called "Antum Antum". After mastering this song, the musicians returned to Maguindanao where they created a unique dance called Singkil which can be seen in today's Maguindanao town square.
Singkil (or Sayaw sa Kasingkil) is a popular Lake Lanao Maranao folk dance popularized by the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company. Singkil meaning to entangle one's foot in distracting items like as vines or anything in one's way. This refers to the story behind the dance. There was a warrior named Singkil who refused to be killed by the enemy so he tied rocks to his feet and tossed them into the battle arena where they became entangled in the legs of his enemies causing them to fall.
In 1950, President Elpidio Quirino brought together Filipino artists and performers from all over the country and formed the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company. The company first performed on August 26, 1950, for President Quirino at the opening ceremony of the Malacañan Palace. Since then, they have presented performances for many world leaders including Indira Gandhi, Mao Zedong, and Ho Chi Minh among others.
The company has traveled throughout the Philippines and abroad performing for large crowds with songs, dances, and skits that tell stories from Philippine history. They have also performed for numerous international audiences especially during celebrations such as World Heritage Days and Asian festivals.
Currently, there are two groups in the company: one based in Tagum City and the other in Parañaque City.
(Mindanao, Maranao) The Singkil is a famous dance from the Lake Lanao region that is performed at festivities and other festive entertainment. The word "singkil" comes from the Malay language and means "thrown stick". This refers to the way the dancers twirl their arms above their heads as they move forward in time with the music.
The Singkil was first introduced to the public in August 1973 when it was part of the opening program of the First World Festival of Arts, held in Manila at that time. It was originally called "Malaysian Stick Dancing" but this name was later changed because of copyright issues related to the use of the term "stick dancing".
Since then, it has become one of the most popular dances in the Philippines. Companies have traveled all over the world performing the Singkil. It has even been performed at international festivals in Germany, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
There are several variations of the Singkil dance. Each province or city in the Philippines has its own traditional style of dancing the songkli. These dances usually use sticks instead of feet to perform them. For example, the dancers might use bamboo canes or metal rods wrapped in cloth for feet.
The Singkil, a female-only dance, acts as a deliberate or unconscious advertising to would-be suitors for her future marriage. As such, it is believed to have originated in pre-colonial times when people lived in small communities where everyone knew everyone else, which made marriage alliances important.
The dance is said to be based on the story of two lovers from different royal families who were forbidden to meet because of some feud between them. One day when the girl was going out to water her rice fields, she saw him working in his garden and was instantly attracted to him. They met while washing their clothes in a river and fell in love. But because of their families' wishes, they could not marry. However, they vowed to stay together forever under one tree. So every time they had a festival honoring the gods, they'd have a reunion dancing to music with friends and family members watching from afar - hoping that they would fall in love and get married soon.
There are several variations of this dance across the Philippines. In General Santos City, the dance is called Pahina and is similar to the Singkil but with some changes. Instead of meeting by the river, they meet near a bridge and there are no clothes washing involved.
Singkil (or Sayaw sa Kasingkil) is a Maranao traditional dance from Lake Lanao that depicts one of the incidents from the epic poem Darangen and was popularized by the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company. The company was established in 1951 by Nestor Uytingco and has toured worldwide performing Sayaw Sa Kasingkil and other Filipino dances.
Sayaw sa Kasingkil is classified as a social dance because it is performed for entertainment purposes only. No prize money is awarded nor does it serve to determine any outcome beyond the pleasure of the audience. Also, since it is a modern adaptation of an ancient dance style, it is considered a derivative work under copyright law.
Like many other social dances, Sayaw sa Kasingkil is not highly structured and can be enjoyed by anyone who knows how to dance. It is usually taught in local folk dancing schools but can also be learned from professional dancers. Although there are some basic steps that must be done correctly, no particular skill or strength is required to enjoy this dance.
The name Sayaw sa Kasingkil comes from the fact that it is traditionally danced by men. However, today women also perform this dance because it is considered equal opportunity entertainment. Regardless of the gender of the dancer, however, the woman always leads the dance with the man following her anywhere on stage.