Pangalay ng Bayan: Sayaw para sa Musikang Koro sa Panahon ng Pag-ahon, a free virtual concert featuring volunteer dancers from the ADC and other groups, will premiere on Feb 26, 2022, 4PM, through the UP Pahinungod on the occasion of its 28th anniversary. Other shows will be in March 2022 with De La Salle University and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina.
The pangalay show is an innovative indie pandemic production with important objectives for cultural preservation.
A traditional dance like pangalay/igal is a dynamic expression of a people’s culture and worldview. Pangalay can be the choreographic language to any kind of music. One of the noted forms of music which the ADC had experience in choreography is choral music or musika para sa koro. In 2007, ADC had the opportunity to collaborate with the Philippine Madrigal Singers on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of Franco-Philippine Relations in Paris.
Choral music is one of the prominent forms of Filipino music which has gained international recognition. Many choral groups have won top prizes in international choral competition, such as the Philippine Madrigal Singers, UST Singers, Ateneo College Glee Club, Loboc Children’s Choir, UP Concert Chorus, and UP Cherubim & Seraphim, University of the East Chorale, and Novo Concertante. Noted Filipino composers and musicians led in setting Filipino folk songs to be sung by choirs: Francisco Santiago, Lucrecia Kasilag, Lucio San Pedro, Eliseo Pajaro, Resti Umali, Chino Toledo, and Ryan Cayabyab – to name a few. These composers and arrangers have expressed their nationalism, love of God and country, and concern for social issues through their works in various epochs of Philippine history.
The importance of choral music in Philippine society has been recently demonstrated during the pandemic crisis which brought about the isolation of music performers during the lockdowns. Likewise, dancers have lost their traditional modes of performing for an audience.
This gave rise to the proliferation of “choirantines” (from “chorus” and “quarantine”) when the pandemic broke out, to appease people who were suddenly plunged in fear and uncertainty all over the world. The UP College of Medicine’s Virtual Choirantine online video of “Lead Me, Lord” opens with the following graphics: “Medicine cures the body. Music heals the soul. Physicians trudge on following where the Lord leads in this most trying time.” Choral songs serenaded frontliners, expressed the sentiments of the people, boosted the morale of citizens grappling with the new situation brought about by the pandemic.
What is amazing in these virtual choirantines is the fact that choir members from all over the world have participated in the choral singing – with the aid of technology.
Moreover, the music the choirantines created boosted peoples’ morale during the lockdowns in different places all over the world. In the midst of the pandemic, these renditions brought relief, positive vibes, hope, and inspiration during dark moments. The situation globally connected Filipinos and expats from various countries. For instance, “The Lord’s Prayer” was participated in by more than 90 singers from different batches of the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus, including alumni members.