‘Mindanao: The Legend’ presents the struggle of an unconquered people

‘Kinding Sindaw’ means Dance of Light.

‘Kinding Sindaw’ means Dance of Light.

On its 25th anniversary, Kinding Sindaw Heritage Foundation, Inc. will premiere “Mindanao: The Legend of Tabunaway, Mamalu and Their Descendants” at La MaMa E.T.C from June 21 to June 24, 2018, with concept, choreography and direction by founder Potri Ranka Manis.

Mindanao The Legend will focus on the resilience of the indigenous peoples and the sultanates of the southern Philippines as passed through generations of oral tradition in the legend of the brothers Tabunaway and Mamalu.

Mindanao The Legend will bring you the lives of Tabunaway and Mamalu, two brothers who nurtured the land through rituals that depict the cycle of life. Their colorful way of life is reflected through dance, chants, and the Kulintang gong music of the ancestral Mindanao tradition-bearers. Mountains and rainforests caught in the winds of fierce typhoons of this spirited land are brought to life through the power of scarves, apir (fans), and Silat martial arts movements. Woven into Mindanao The Legend, is the history of the Lumad and the Moro indigenous peoples who descend from Tabunaway and Mamalu.

For centuries, the descendants of Tabunaway and Mamalu are repeatedly invaded and sieged by foreign forces. Yet, they remain steadfast and rise from the ashes as they uphold the undaunted spirit of their ancestors whose resilience keep them unconquered.

Potri Ranka Manis, founder and artistic director of Kinding Sindaw Heritage Foundation, Inc. Facebook photo by Juliet Astoria

Potri Ranka Manis, founder and artistic director of Kinding Sindaw Heritage Foundation, Inc. Facebook photo by Juliet Astoria

Kinding Sindaw (Dance of Light), founded in 1992 by Potri Ranka Manis, is renowned for its indigenous-led majestic dance theater productions which recreate the living traditions of dance, music, martial arts, storytelling, and oratory of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines. Its repertoire is of the Iranun, T’boli, Maranao, Maguindanao, Yakan, Higaonon, and Tausug peoples of the southern Philippines. By asserting their arts and living traditions, the historical and contemporary stories of these peoples are brought to life. In addition to La MaMa, the troupe has performed at the Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, World Trade Center, Theatre of the Riverside Church, and various community events.

“Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this unique experience of tradition-bearers of the Philippines and Filipino-American artists collaborating on-stage to bring to life the legend of Tabunaway and Mamalu,” said Potri, artistic director of the foundation. “This production exemplifies the struggle of indigenous communities and the community work that Kinding Sindaw undertakes in reclaiming, asserting, preserving and recreating an endangered beautiful culture, and in creating connections for a new generation of Filipinos in diaspora… Mindanao The Legend is intertwined with unwritten history – a story of the continuing struggle of an unconquered people.”

With Potri are assistant directors Malaika Queano, Andre Dimapilis, Mohammed Zebede Dimaporo; co-choreograpers Nodiah Biruar, Inteshar Mohammed, Bai Lani Kalifa Morales, and Guro Frank Ortega; dance captains, Diane Camino, Amira Aziza, Rose Yapching; and media managers, Vivian Chow, Daisy Wen, and Jameelah Lineses.

Mindanao The Legend will run from June 21 to June 24, at 7 p.m., with matinee shows on June 23-24 at 2 p.m. for a duration of two hours with intermission. Admission is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students, $10 first 10 tickets of each performance. For more ticket info, please go to www.lamama.org/mindanao or call (212) 352-2101.

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