CAS Blog

The Tinikling Dance

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Tinikling is the national dance of the Philippines, and is a traditional folk dance which originates from the Spanish colonial era. The dance imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers mimic the tikling bird’s grace and agility by dancing between large bamboo poles.

The Tinikling is one of the oldest dances from the Philippines, and originated in the islands of Leyte in the Visayas. According to legend, the Tinikling was started by people who worked in the paddies and farms of the Philippines. When the Spaniards conquered the Philippines, the natives were sent to the haciendas (plantations, mines, or factories) and lost control of their land. To please the King of Spain, the natives had to work all day, and worked farms and paddies for nearly 400 years (1500 – 1898).

Those who worked too slowly would be sent for punishment, in which the worker had to stand between two bamboo poles. These poles were then clapped to beat the native’s feet. To escape their punishments, the natives jumped around the poles. From this action, the Tinikling was created.

Alice, Amy, Katarina, Miah, and I decided to perform the dance for our CAS Project, so we met regularly in the months leading up to International Day to plan the choreography, materials, clothes, music, and to practice and perfect our dance. We organised to perform our dance in front of the rest of the Middle and Senior School cohort on Celebrating Cultures Day, allowing us to showcase our dance and the culture of the Philippines.

Our performance on Celebrating Cultures Day was overall a success, we all had a lot of fun, and it provided us with an amazing experience which allowed me to share my culture with my friends and the school community.

Jeremy Talbot
Year 12 IB Student