PAMANA ng LuzViMinda Philippine Folkloric Dance Company
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PAMANA ng LuzViMinda Philippine Folkloric Dance Company was founded in 2005 in the hopes of pre-serving traditional Filipino songs and dances in the youth of the Filipino-Canadian community in Montreal. PAMANA was established with a two-fold mission statement: As a cultural organization, PAMANA seeks to pre-serve and represent the diversity of the Philippine culture in the multicultural mosaic of Quebec and Canada; As a folk dance company, PAMANA seeks to instill into its young performing members a sense of cultural awareness, dignity, and iden-tity. PAMANA seeks to achieve these two goals through the transmission of cultural dances and songs, with its young members as its primary ambassadors both to the wider community and to its newest, youngest members.
As part of its effort to blend authenticity and theatrical innovation with its standard of excellence, members of PAMANA have participated in workshops with several teachers from dif-ferent dance groups. PAMANA per-forming members have had formal training workshops with Cecille Hernandez of Folklorico Filipino Canada based in Toronto, Ontario; Maria Donna Cosejo from the Ramon Obu-san Dance Company based in the Philippines; Victor Nombrado, Artistic Director of Kayumanggi Performing Arts Organization of Winnipeg, Mani-toba; and Tonette Gatus, former dancer, researcher and Assistant Dance Director of the world renowned Bayanihan Dance Company of the Philippines and now Artistic Director of the Philippine Cultural Arts Society of Richmond, British Columbia. PAMANA has therefore forged links with other Filipino groups around Canada and the world.
As an organization driven to educate young Filipino-Canadians, PAMANA is primarily a youth-led initiative—the President, Dance and Music Director and their assistants are all under the age of thirty, and some are as young as seventeen-years-old. Indeed, PAMANA leaders are also concerned with fostering and mentor-ing the young members to become the next generation of leaders in the com-pany and in the wider community. In this way, then, PAMANA has become more than a simple dance company. Dancers not only develop the confi-dence necessary to perform onstage, but they also garner the confidence and skills necessary to lead others.
Having performed several times for Folklore Canada International (FCI), Société de la patrimoine d’expression du Québec (SPEQ), as well as for the Philippine Ambassador to Canada at his residence, PAMANA has garnered the reputation of consistently delivering a flawless performance that never ceases to entertain and impress its audience. Barely a year after its founding, PAMANA was invited to perform at the Drummondville Mondial des cultures international festival in July 2006, where they amazed their audiences into standing ovations with their per-formances of the Rural and Muslim suites. That same summer, PAMANA participated in a cultural exchange with the Philippine Cultural Arts Soci-ety of Richmond, British Columbia. PAMANA therefore performed at both the national and international levels before the organization was even a year old.
In July 2008, PAMANA had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines. There, PAMANA dancers performed at the Philippine High School for the Arts and at Christian School International in the Laguna Province. As well, PAMANA was taken under the wing of Mr. Edwin C. Duero of the ECD Dance Company, a nationally recog-nized master of Philippine folk dance. Mr. Duero continues to mentor the leaders and dancers of PAMANA, offering his extensive knowledge into authentic Filipino dances and songs.