Kumintang seeks to connect generations through dance

Photo by Marjorie Roden. Members of the Kumintang FolkDance Ensemble perform a flower dance at Tapestrama in Prince Albert on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

The Kumintang FolkDance Ensemble, based out of Saskatoon, is a Filipino dance troupe looking to teach their youth about their culture through dance.
Unlike most of the dance acts on Saturday afternoon in the Carlton Cafetorium, they got two 30 minute sets to perform many different dance performances.
“Those ones are traditional activities in the Filipines, so the ones with the bamboo is called Diniguay, it’s originally to mimic birds,” said group director Antonette Bcijan.
“I, myself, did that dance for years and now it’s all these dancers. There’s a lot of footwork in it.”
Diniguay involves a pair of barefoot dancers skipping and hopping between two large pieces of bamboo. Although some people at the event were joking about having a Dunguay booth set up as an activity, Bcijan disagreed.
“It’s actually really difficult to clap that,” Bcijan said.
“You have to have a good rhythm and a good eye for the dancers’ feet, to make sure you don’t get (the dancers) hurt.”
Another dance, which was quite comical and akin to the Raiders’ fight filled home opener, was one mimicking a rooster/cock fight. Each participant wore a feathered head dress.
“We have two boys mimic chickens, and that’s also pretty much a national pastime as well,” Bcijan chuckled.
Many of their dances tell stories, and Bcijan said, “We have a lot more dances to showcase as well in Saskatoon. At Folkfest, we perform a lot more of these dances.
“We’d love to come back, if invited,” Bcijan added.
“I think this is our third or fourth annual year coming. This is our second year coming back since Covid coming back.
The group has a long history and tradition in Saskatchewan’s Filipino community. They’ve been active for more than 40 years.
“It’s a great way for our youth to connect with their culture,” Bcijan said.