Silong sa Ganding: Sining Kambayoka Ensemble USA


Silong sa Ganding is a Maguindanao dance that is a favorite among royal courts. The dance is a very demanding dance of discipline because hand positions and placements required are very precise. Similar to other Bangsamoro dances, Silong sa Ganding is danced with the wrists turned in and out in a manner similar to the kumintang. This movement, according to Maguindanao dance researcher Mario Estacion, is called okir (probably due to the curvilinear movements similar to the the complex motifs of Maguindanao carving so named).
Dancers go around doing a series of taman bali or agam with their wrists continuously flicked in and out in front, at the sides, or down and up. Four dancers perform the Silong sa Ganding each representing one gong in a gandingan set. The dance starts very slow but gets frenzied after a little while.
Another Maguindano dance that is performed almost similar to the Silong sa Ganding is the Kandalamat sa Gandingan. Five dancers represent the four set of wide gandingan gongs and the fifth for the goblet-shaped drum, the dabakan. Three figures from this dance are found in the Silong sa Ganding.
Silong sa Ganding derived its name from silong, which is a rhythm of music played on the gandingan, a set of four shallow rimmed gongs played in a manner “imitating the human voice”, hence, the moniker – ‘the talking gongs’. Ganding is obviously derived from gandingan. Silong sa Ganding would thus be translated like, ‘following the rhythms of the gandingan’. It could have also been that the name of the dance was derived from the corrugated bamboo musical instrument called sirongsagandi as variant names the dance are known like Sirong sa Ganding and Sirongsagandi. In fact the researchers of Kaloob:Philippine Music and Dance Ministry discovered informants of the dance who call it Sirongsagandi.



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