Resources > Philippine Bayanihan National Folk Dance Company
30 Jun 2011

Philippine Bayanihan National Folk Dance Company

The Philippine National Folk Dance Company is a multi-awarded company recognized both nationally and internationally. Bayanihan, the National Dance Company of the Philippines takes its name from an ancient Filipino tradition called bayanihan which means working together for a common good.In 1956 Dr. Helena Z. Benitez founded the Bayanihan Folk Dance Group of the Philippine Women’s University. The following year, 1957, it was formally organized as the Bayanihan Folk Arts Center with the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company as its performing arm. Both the center and the dance company were tasked to research on and preserve indigenous Philippine art forms in music, dance, costumes and folklore; to restructure and enhance these research findings to evolve repertoires suited to the demands of contemporary theater; and to promote international goodwill through performances at home and abroad.

From Folkdance translated into the modern stage, Bayanihan carefully advances into Folklore, and beyond, with Filipino History and national identity as its guide. Bayanihan never stopped its research into Philippine folk culture.In some instances it even researched comparative folkways in other societies, particularly those with which Philippine culture has been and is interlaced and inter-related. The findings further enriched and brought into better perspective its discoveries and insights into our own folk culture.

Bayanihan has awakened a new pride among Filipinos in their cultural heritage; added a new dimension to the country’s dance tradition; and has built a rich reserve of international goodwill.

In appreciation and recognition of their pioneering efforts and international success, the people of the Philippines through the 10th Congress enacted R. A. 8626 declaring the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company as The Philippines National Folk Dance Company.

Subsequently, the President of the Philippines declared May 27 of every year as National Day to commemorate and propagate the Bayanihan spirit as the unique way of working together as a people.

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