Dance

Potri Ranka Manis Blends Mark Twain With Traditional Tausug Dances

In Kinding Sindaw's Parang Sabil (Sword of Honor), a new work by Potri Ranka Manis, Mark Twain's stinging anti-imperialist commentary on the 1899 Philippine-American War proved relevant to today's misguided U.S. occupation of Iraq and renewed military presence in the Philippines. As a narrative thread, however, rarely did it knit effectively (except for certain martial-arts sequences) with the traditional dances of the Tausug—an Islamic Philippine tribe that fought the bluecoats a century ago. Too bad. The dancers, particularly Amira Aziza as a doomed bride, interpreted the indigenous themes gracefully and persuasively, though I wished their vocalizing had been as vigorous as their footwork. Still, the imaginative re-creation of the 1906 massacre of 900 Muslim men, women, and children made for a powerful ending, fusing, for a brief moment, medium and message. Luis H. Francia


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Kinding Sindaw
Mulberry Street Theater
Closed

Aszure & Artists
Joyce Soho
Closed

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