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ASEAN Traditional Folk Dances | Southeast Asian Culture and Arts

ASEAN Traditional Folk Dances |  Southeast Asian Culture and Arts

Dances in the folk tradition are exceptionally numerous and widespread. Although most of the dance and dramatic forms of Southeast Asia are related at least in the distant past, except in Vietnam and the Philippines, they acquired a very distinctive national and local character over the centuries. An examination of a few of these myriad forms will provide a more precise picture of the dense texture of the performing arts in Southeast Asia.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization that brings together disparate neighbors to address economic, security, and political issues. It is an intergovernmental organization of ten Southeast Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The ASEAN Socio Cultural Community is all about realizing the full potential of ASEAN citizens and working towards a dynamic and harmonious community that is aware and proud of its identity, culture and heritage. Member States are cooperating on a wide range of areas, including Culture and Arts.

Celebrating the rich cultural diversity and heritage of ASEAN remains an important driver of the culture and arts sector. Culture and arts cooperation serves as an engine for economic growth and sustainable development, a building block for social cohesion and transformation, an asset for regional pride as well as a vehicle for forging closer friendship and understanding.

The ASEAN culture sector is spearheading the development of the Narrative of ASEAN Identity, as part of the continuing efforts to promote awareness and foster a shared Identity. 

In celebration of Southeast Asia’s culture and heritage, we feature the “Sayaw ASEAN” features Filipino folk dancers - the Sindaw Philippines Performing Arts Guild performing on the virtual stage of Concert at the Park in the Philippines. Proclamation No. 282 amending Proclamation No. 1008 (s. 1997) declares the month of August of every year as “ASEAN Month”

Filipinos Dancing Tiếng Đàn Trên Nương - Vietnam Múa | Traditional Vietnamese Dance

Tiếng Đàn Trên Nương - Vietnam Múa - Traditional Vietnamese Folk Dance. Tiếng Đàn Trên Nương (Nhà Hát Việt Nam) -- Múa Dân Tộc. Traditional Vietnamese dance. Culture of Vietnam: Music, Dance, Theatre, Literature.  Southeast Asian arts - The folk tradition. Traditional Vietnamese dance comprises several different forms including dance as performed in Vietnamese theatre and opera, dances performed at festivals, and royal dances of the imperial court. Dance is thought to have been an integral part of Vietnamese culture since ancient times, as depicted by engravings found on Dong Son drums. Vietnam is a diverse country with 54 different ethnic groups, with the ethnic Vietnamese (known as Kinh) making up the majority of the population. This article mainly focuses on the traditional dances of the ethnic Vietnamese, although each of the many ethnic minorities of Vietnam have their own rich culture and dance styles. Dancing in Vietnamese theatres. Much of Vietnamese theatre and Vietnamese music are intertwined with each other, as well as with Vietnamese dance. Popular theatre forms such as Hát tuồng, Hát chèo, and Cải lương all often feature dance, however these dances are performed in a liberal manner without set rules, unlike other more specific dance styles. Imperial court dances. Accompanied with Nhã nhạc (court music of the Trần Dynasty to the Nguyễn Dynasty) were the intricate dances of the Vietnamese Imperial court. Nhã Nhạc means "elegant music" when translated. While assuredly court dances existed before nhã nhạc in particular emerged, it is the Nguyễn Dynasty form that is still highly preserved today, and has been declared along with the whole of nhã nhạc as an Intangible cultural heritage. These dances require great skill and the dancers are often dressed in extravagant costumes. Currently, they are performed at festivals in Huế (múa cung đình Huế - court dance) or other special (often televised) occasions, in order to promote the traditional arts. Some of the most popular dances include (among others):

Fan dance - vũ phiến Lantern dance -lục cúng hoa đăng Lotus dance - múa sen, múa bài bông Flag dance Platter dance - múa mâm Candle dance Incense dance Hat dance - múa nón Scarf dance Lion dance -múa lân Ribbon dance The meaning of "múa" extends to Múa rối nước - water puppetry. 

Filipinos Dancing THAILAND Folk dance | Thai Classical Dancing Mix

Thai Dancing - [Dance in Thailand Thai culture Thai dance Asian dances] Culture Trip. Dance in Thailand (Thai: นาฏศิลป์, pronounced [nâat.dtà.sǐn] or Thai: นาฏกรรม, pronounced [nâat.dtà.kam]) is the main dramatic art form in Thailand. Thai dance can be divided into two major categories, high art (classical dance) and low art (folk dance). The Thai terms for dance, รำ 'ram', and ระบำ 'rabam' derive from the Old Khmer words រាំ 'raṃ' and របាំ 'rapaṃ', respectively. There is an extended influence of ancient Khmer forms on Thai Classical dance and performance. This is due to the multitude of Khmer words relating to dance, music and performance, along with the similarities found between the gestures of Thai dancers’ depictions in ancient Khmer sculpture and bas reliefs. Folk dance forms include dance theater forms like likay, numerous regional dances (ram), the ritual dance ram muay, and homage to the teacher, wai khru. Both ram muay and wai khru take place before all traditional muay Thai matches. The wai is also an annual ceremony performed by Thai classical dance groups to honor their artistic ancestors. 

Folk dance
Folk dance forms include dance theater forms like likay, numerous regional dances (ram), the ritual dance ram muay, and homage to the teacher, wai khru. Both ram muay and wai khru take place before all traditional muay Thai matches. The wai is also an annual ceremony performed by Thai classical dance groups to honor their artistic ancestors.

Ram wong (Thai: รำวง) is a type of partner dance in a circle.
Ram muay (Thai: รำมวย) is the ritualized dance that takes place before Southeast Asian kickboxing matches such as muay Thai.
Wai khru (Thai: ไหว้ครู) Wai khru ram muay is a ritualized form of dance meant to pay respect to or homage to the khru, or teacher. It is performed annually by Thai classical dance institutions as well as before muay Thai matches.

Filipinos Dancing Aduk Aduk - BRUNEI Darussalam Ceremonial / Traditional Dance | ASEAN Culture

Aduk Aduk is Brunei's ceremonial dance performed by the Kedayan people during holidays, especially at the end of the harvest season. Brunei, a small constitutional sultanate lying along the coast of the South China Sea, is separated into two by Malaysia’s Sarawak province. Its name, Brunei Darussalam means “Abode of Peace.” [Filed under: brunei traditional music, gulingtangan brunei, brunei traditional dance, brunei music, brunei traditional games, lagu tradisional, brunei darussalam, brunei traditions] Dancers wear traditional warrior's attire and dance to the beat of Silat – a Malay martial art, accompanied by percussion instruments such as drums and coconut shell. Brunei shares some Cultural perspectives and links with the countries of South East Asia such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines. Although Brunei has similarities with others, there are significant differences in terms of culture and heritage including its folk music, folk dance, and folk stories. The strong Islamic influence means that dance performances and music are somewhat restricted. 

Brunei’s traditional music includes the adai-adai, songs sung as a group while people are working. They talk about life in the fishing villages and are usually accompanied by dance movements inspired by the common activities involved in fishing such as using an oar. The ceremonial aduk-aduk song and dance, meanwhile, is performed by groups on special occasion. The dancers are dressed as warriors and use coconut shells and drums for rhythm. Traditional instruments include the two-headed kendang drums, the rebana, a tambourine, and the kulintangs, metal gongs cast using the lost wax process.

Tradition and custom are extremely important to the Bruneian people, who share the cultural traits of those living in the Malay Peninsula. Customary law, Adat, outlines rules and procedures for many cultural ceremonies and there is even a government department whose mandate is to preserve ceremonial procedures and advise on protocol, proper dress and genealogies. 

TARI INDANG (Dindin Badindin) Dance Performance by Filipinos | INDONESIA Traditional Dance | ASEAN

The Indang Dance, also known as Dindin Badindin, is a traditional dance originated from West Sumatra, performed in groups, which symbolizes the collective message of prayers and gratitude to the God Almighty for the grace and mercy He has bestowed. This dynamic dance from West Sumatera Province is also similar to a dance from its neighboring province, Aceh, the Tari Saman, and are usually performed in celebrations or festivities.

Indang also called Dindin badindin is a traditional Minangkabau Islamic dance originating from West Sumatra, Indonesia. Indang dance grows and develops in the Minangkabau community as a portrayal of the arrival of Islam in West Sumatra in the 13th century.

historically this dance was the result of acculturation of Minang culture and Islamic culture which spread in the 14th century. It is said that Islamic civilization was introduced by Islamic traders who entered Aceh. Starting from the west coast of Sumatra island to then spread to Ulakan-Pariaman.

This art continues to develop in the usual surau that are played after the Quran activity. Because of the nature of religious education, the contents of the songs available contain religious teachings.

As for further developments, this art changed from surau out to surau to a place called matches. A place without walls that allows viewers to see from all directions.

In the past, every nagari in Pariaman had its own Indang arts group, and Indang was once full of something sacred. Some say that each of these groups has a "sipatuang sirah" ie parents who have supernatural powers to maintain the safety of their group from outside forces that can destroy other groups.

In addition, in terms of timing, the term Indang is known to rise and Indang goes down. When entering the first day, the Indang game will start at midnight between 11-12 pm. Meanwhile, if the game enters the second day, it starts when it is already dusk or after the Maghrib prayer. Indang dances are also popular outside Indonesia such as Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Some say that Indang is a traditional dance created by Rapa’i. Rapa'i itself is a term for loyal followers of Sheikh Burhanuddin, a prominent figure as a pioneer of the Tabuik Tradition in Pariaman or also the Tabot Tradition in Bengkulu. Therefore, Indang Dance is almost always staged every time the celebration is held.

Along with its development, Indang Dance has become an enduring art, especially in the area of Padang Pariaman District which is popular with the game Indang Pariaman or Indang Piaman. One of the characteristics of Indang is that it is always played at night in nagari events such as the batagak kudo-kudo and other cultural festivals.

Filipinos Dancing Lao Blessing Dance (Fon Ouy Pon) | Laos Traditional Folk Culture

LAO Blessing Dance (Fon Ouy Pon) - ລວມເພງລາວມ່ວນໆຟັງສະບາຍ 2021 Lao Music Lao Traditional Dance - Fon Ouy Pon - ຟ້ອນອວຍພອນ - Lao Blessing Dance. Laos is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and known for its mountainous terrain. The dance and theatre of Laos (nattakam Lao, Lao: ນາດຕະກັມລາວ [nâːt táʔ kam láːw]) is the primary dramatic art form of Laos' majority ethnic group, the Lao people. It is shared with the ethnic Lao that inhabit the Isan region of Thailand as well. There are mainly two types of dances (or dance-dramas), the classical dances performed in the royal courts and the folk dances now associated with morlam. Lao folk dances (ຟ້ອນລຳພື້ນເມືອງ [fɔ̂ːn lám pʰɯ̂ːn mɯ́əŋ]) are numerous and varied, much like lam lao. In fact, most lam also have an associated folk dance. And Other popular dances include the southern lam Tang Vai (ລຳຕັງຫວາຽ [lám taŋ wǎːj]) and Lam Saravane (ລຳສາຣະວັນ [lám sǎː lā ván]).

The most popular folk dance, however, is the lam vong (ລຳວົງ [lám wóŋ]). It is the national dance of Laos, and versions of it exist throughout the Lao-speaking region and even Cambodia, where it is known as ramvong. A slow and graceful couples dance, the men form an inner circle and the women an outer circle, with couples dancing around each other while moving in their respective circles. It is a common feature of weddings, celebrations, and other social events.

Wau Bulan (Moon-Kite) Dance of MALAYSIA - Performed by Filipinos | Traditional Cultural ASEAN Dance

"Wau Bulan" is a folk song and dance that originates from Malaysia. It is performed in the Dikir Barat style whereby performers sit in rows on the floor / stage to sing and do choreographed hand and body movements. Dikir Barat is usually performed by Malaysians as a way of preserving and cultivating the Malay community culture of song and dance. The flexibility of this style of performance allows the music to be adapted to various settings and performers. Performers are also encouraged to come up with new lyrics to any existing tune. "Wau Bulan" describes the beauty of the Malaysian traditional kite (wau) with a rounded bottom shaped like a half moon (bulan) as it flies up high in the sky. The graceful dance and humming of these awesome traditional kites would tell them “where the action was in terms of huge harvest” since the wau were usually flown to celebrate a bountiful harvest. 

Wau bulan (Jawi: واو بولن) is an intricately designed Malaysian moon-kite (normally with floral motifs) that is traditionally flown in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. It is one of Malaysia's national symbols, some others being the hibiscus. The reverse side of the fifty-cent coin of Malaysia (1989 series) features an intricately decorated wau bulan with a hummer on top. The logo of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is based on the wau kucing (cat kite). There are many types of wau in Malaysia, each with its own specialty. Wau kucing (cat kite) and wau merak (peacock kite) are some of the variants.

Wau bulan got its name from the crescent moon-like shape of its lower section (moon means "bulan" in Malaysian Malay). Given the right colour, wau bulan apparently resembles a rising crescent moon when flown. The size of wau bulan is bigger than any other Malaysian traditional kite. The typical size is 2.5 meters in width and 3.5 meters in length.[3] This makes the decorations painted on the kite's body to be visible when it is flown high in the air. To make it more distinctive, wau bulan is normally decorated with large, strong-coloured patterns.

MYANMAR Puppet Dance Performed by Filipinos | Repertory of the Marionette Theater | ASEAN Folk Dance

BURMESE DANCES AND DANCE IN MYANMAR.  Puppet-style dances are still popular. Many dance numbers are based on the repertory of the marionette theater, such as the dances of the Magician, the Prince (mintha) and the Princess (minthamee). This partly explains the jerky movements of the dancers, who often perform sitting or crouching on the floor. The marionettes also influenced the way in which the dancers fall down, like a marionette whose strings are cut. The performer, however, always falls to the ground in a very graceful position with legs bent back and arms bent angularly. The facial expression is often a frozen, puppet-like smile, which appears to derive from the marionettes. Over the years, various puppet-style dances evolved, emphasising the precise imitation of the marionettes. The Marionette Dance: The puppets, or marionettes, were the main sources of traditional theatrical entertainment during the time of the Myanmar kings, and the yoke-the pew, or marionette theater, was also very popular in the 18th century. Myanmar puppets are distinctive in dress, style and the intricacy involved in manipulating them. Dance is a prominent and popular form of the performing arts in Myanmar, where dances have traditionally been strict in their adherence form and content. Every one of Myanmar's many festivals features dancing, often in association with music and dramatic performances known as pwe. Historically, all royal functions began and ended up with music and dance. Dances have also been traditionally performed at pagoda festivals, the opening of new capitals, the start of battles, shinbyu (monk novitiation ceremonies) and weddings. Special songs are composed for special occasions and the accompanying dance is, in most cases, improvised. Myanmar traditional dances are supple, graceful, elaborate, well-refined and floral. Every dance movement resembles an exquisite floral design. A flower is like a dancer. The bloom is the dancer's head. The leaves are the hands and the stem is the body. When the breeze comes, the flower becomes alive and starts to dance to the accompaniment of music, the gentle breeze. Myanmar traditional dances not only exude the unique characteristics of Myanmar culture but also produce innovative traditional works. Officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (also known as Burma; Burmese: Pyidaunzu Thanmăda Myăma Nainngandaw), the country is situated in South East Asia, between China and India. It is inhabited notably by Burmese, Mon, Shan, and Karen; the majority is Buddhist, but belief in nats, animist spirits, remains strong. Traditional Burmese puppet theatre (yoke thay) dates from the 15th century. In the 19th century, it reached its peak, after which lighter entertainments became more popular. The name ah myint than, “high performance”, refers to the fact that the puppets perform on a raised platform, and not on the ground as human dancers (ah naint thabin). The manipulators stand on this platform behind a handrail; their lower bodies are hidden by a painted backdrop in front of which the puppets are danced and behind which any puppets not involved in the action are arranged. The performances usually last all night. A company consists of puppeteers, singers and musicians.

SINGAPURA: Multi Ethnic Traditional Dance SINGAPORE by Filipino Dancers | ASEEAN Culture

This Filipino performing arts company dancing Singapura of Singapore cultural / traditional dance - which blend rich traditional forms with contemporary dance techniques. Dance in Singapore incorporates the dances of many of its neighbors as well as traditional dances of its ethnic communities. The Lion Dance, a Chinese dance, is performed more often around New Years festivals. The Malay national dance is the Zapin, introduced in 1937. The Bharatnatyam and other south Indian dances are taught in the Tamil communities. This dance depicts city life in Singapore and takes audiences on a journey through all of its historical and modern landmarks and traditions with stunning costumes and exciting music. This dance portrays the integration of a multi-ethnic community with three major races: Indians, Chinese and Malays. Observing the rich cultural traditions unique to each culture this is a symbolic dance show with an impressive visual impact. Dedicated to portraying the colourful diversity of various ethnic traditions and customs they have created a series of creative dance performances that convey different social themes and concepts. SINGAPORE: MUSIC AND DANCE: 

Pinoy TINIKLING sa Bantayog ni Pepe | Philippine Folk Dance Performance | Filipino Culture

Tinikling - Dances of the Philippines Visayan culture, Culture of Leyte (province) - is a traditional Philippine folk dance which originated during the Spanish colonial era. The dance involves two people beating, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance. It is traditionally danced to rondalla music, a sort of serenade played by an ensemble of stringed instruments which originated in Spain during the Middle Ages.The locomotor movements used in tinkling are hopping, jumping and turning. The name tinikling is a reference to birds locally known as tikling, which can be any of a number of rail species, but more specifically refers to the slaty-breasted rail (Gallirallus striatus), the buff-banded rail (Gallirallus philippensis), and the barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus). The term tinikling literally means "to perform it tikling-like."

The dance originated in Leyte, Island in Visayas. It imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers." Dancers imitate the tikling bird's legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles. When performed by dance troupes or in cultural shows, Tinikling is typically performed in the "Rural Suite," which includes dances originating from Filipino Christians that have a more "folksy" character. These dances originate mostly from the islands of Visayas and Luzon and imitate the simplicity and joy of the lifestyle of the Filipino villagers living in those regions during the Spanish period. Other Filipino folk dances of this category include Sayaw sa Bangko, Maglalatik, and Pandanggo sa Ilaw.

Tinikling is commonly performed at schools and on special occasions, such as the Filipino Independence Day, as a celebration of Filipino culture and Filipino pride. 

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