Accommodation of Indigenous Dances in Higher Education Institutions in Northern Philippines
STANLEY F. ANONGOS
Philippine schools have become a home for the nation’s dances, either through specific programs in the arts or as part of Physical Education courses. Indigenous dances are, however, marginalized in these platforms. The paper looks at the case of how government tertiary schools in a predominantly indigenous peoples’ region adjust to a growing visibility of traditional dances within their sphere. This paper demonstrates that the schools have attained some levels of accommodation of indigenous dances but for reasons external to the schools. Traditional dances are used by the schools to entertain visitors and to mark important events. These are also performed as contest pieces in school- sanctioned dance competitions. As such, the accommodation of traditional dances in schools is largely extra-curricular, and efforts at incorporating these to academic programs are weak. Given the nature of the performance and use of these dances on campus, tertiary schools are becoming another venue for alterations. In effect, while tertiary schools in predominantly IP communities perceive traditional dances as entertainment, and contribute to their modi cations, these schools are also opening up as refuge for Cordillera traditional dances.
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