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Standing ovation! Their audience rose to applaud and cheer in an unusual tribute.  A vivid and flashing program! The famed Bayanihan dancers held a sophisticated audience spellbound now swirling through the wild tempestuous figures of an Igorot dancer, now moving with infinite grace and delicacy through royal ceremonial rites


The Bayanihan (roughly meaning togetherness in Tagalog) Philippine Dance Company opened on Broadway to critical cheers.  The dancers, many of them in their teens, showed a simple, unsophisticated enthusiasm that kindled a sense of joy in the audience.

TIME, 1959

The surprise hit on Broadway last week was neither a musical nor a play but an enchanting group of college students dancers from the Philippines who opened a U.S. tour at New York's Winter Garden.  Compared with this engaging, graceful, and disciplined group, the dancers in the brightest Broadway musical seems pale indeed.


Bayanihan is one of the newest examples of an ethnic dance culture which has gone beyond simple preservation and into creative growth. They are professionals all, but they see, somehow, rather like neighbors and one loves them on sight.  The costumes are stunning, the music is fascinating but the performers are, to put is succinctly, irresistible.


Glimpse of Philippine Culture, says the programmed.  It was very much more than that.  It was, this, in this century of anxiety, the most spontaneous expression of joie de vivre that we have ever witnessed.  A song to the praise of life in paradise on those heavenly islands.  With a peal of the gong, some dancing and a smile, the true happiness of man emerged from darkness.



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