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did you know that once upon a time....................the Philippines was a part of the Indian Empire?





(90 minutes)

An adaptation of "The Ramayana," the 4th century Indian epic, as preserved by the Maranao people of the South Philippines. A story of the battle between good and evil, with love, deceit, heroism and triumph

Nov 30 - Dec 10 2000

La MaMa E.T.C. (Annex Theater)

74A East Fourth Street

Th-Sat @ 7:30 pm, Sun @ 3pm & 7:30pm Fri & Sat $20/tdf;

Th & Sun $15/tdf

Box office (212) 475-7710

Princess Potri Ranka Manis Award winning poet & playwright Artistic Director and creator/choreographer Having trained since childhood in all the traditional dance, music, and martial art forms of her people, Potri serves as the tradition bearer for the company. Jo Ann Lara -

Kinding Sindaw performance


NEW YORK, November 7 -- "Rajah Mangandiri" is Kinding Sindaw's original dance and music version of "The Ramayana," the great Indian classic. From the 4th to the 10th centuries, the Philippines, along with Malaysia, Indonesia and Southern Malaysia, Indonesia and southern Thailand, were all part of the Indian Shri Vidyayah Empire. The Indian epic has been preserved in the authentic oral tradition of the centuries-old Maranao tribe of the southern Philippines and has been interpreted for the stage through the contemporary vision of Potri Ranka Manis, daughter of the Sultan of the Maranao tribe (a true modern-day Princess!), and her company of 16 young artists. The production is co-directed by Potri Ranka Manis and Wayland Quintero (of the Asian-American performance troupe Slant).

"Rajah Mangandiri" is a vibrant tapestry of royal court dances of the Sultanate, secular dances derived from animal movements, Silat martial arts, colorful silk costumes, kulintang (gamelan) music, hanging gongs, talking gongs, native drums,bamboo jew's harp and haunting indigenous-chants from Maranao.

The performing arts of the Philippines are a multi-layered complex resulting from a millennium of various cultural and religious influences and colonization. The Philippine Archipelago lies at the end of a chain of Southeast Asian islands that share many traits of Malay culture and peoples. In the Philippines there are 62 recognized cultural and linguistic groups among these the Maranao tribe of the south from where Potri Ranka Manis hails. The region was dominated by Hindu culture from the 4th to the 10th centuries. Through trade,Islamic culture and religion entered the southern Philippines during the 14th Century. Both Islamic and Hindu Culture still thrive there to this day, despite Spanish colonization from the 16th century to the late 19th century, American colonization from 1898 to 1941, and the Japanese invasion during World War II.

Kinding Sindaw, a New York-based indigenous dance, music, and martial arts ensemble whose name means Dance of Light was founded in 1992 by Artistic Director Potri Ranka Manis. The dances of Kinding Sindaw originate from the royal court dances of the Maranao Sultanate- a repertory of the sacred, classic, and secular combining grace and vigor, dances that directly reflect their rich natural environment.Dancers imitate the graceful movements of birds, fish, butterflies, rivers, streams,and ocean trekking boats, celebrate fertility in vigorous choreography,sway delicately using colorful fans and scarves, and dramatically inspire through the martial art of Silat.

The musical accompaniment is performed on a variety of percussion instruments, including the kulintang, a tuned bronze kettle drum set, known more commonly in the West as gamelan, a variety of hanging gongs which include the bossed agong and the unbossed gandingan and bababdir, and the dabakan, a cylindrical drums. These instruments are played as an ensemble and were prototypes for the instruments of the gamelan ensembles of Java and Bali. Other instruments of the Mindanao cultures include the sarunay- a polychordal bamboo tube zither, the kulung- a two-stringed lute, and kubing- a bamboo jaws harp.

Kinding Sindaw has performed single performances from its repertory at the Museum of Natural History, World Trade Center, Madison Square Garden, Washington Square Church, Museum of Television and Radio and the Queens Borough Library in New York; and at the Middletown County Festival, the Alabama International Festival, and the Grafton Peace Pagoda. This is the first extended run for the company.

Potri Ranka Manis is Artistic Director and creator/choreographer of several Kinding Sindaw dance dramas, including Lemlunay, Agama Niyog, and Irumun O' Banag. She is daughter of a Maranao sultan from Mindanao, Philippines, and trained since childhood in all the traditional dance, music, and martial art forms of her people she serves as the tradition bearer for the company. She is an award winning poet and playwright, who has performed throughout the Philippines, Middle East, Hong Kong and the United States. She has a firm background in theater and performance including Boal's Theater of the Oppressed. In addition to her work with Kinding Sindaw, Potri Ranka Manis also founded PANATA- Peoples Theater Collective. She was a creator of the performance art piece "Bells of Balangiga" and has also performed with the "Nurses Project" with Peggy Peloquin at Dance Theater Workshop. She also co-starred in the 1998 full-length independent film "Disoriented" directed by Francisco Aliwalas.

Ramayana (Sanskrit, "Story of Rama") is the shorter of the two great Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Mahabarata. Rich in its descriptions and poetic language, it consists of seven books and 24,000 couplets and has been translated into many languages. It was probably begun in the 3rd century BC, with the beginning and possibly the ending added later. The Ramayana tells of the birth and education of Rama, a prince and the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu, and recounts his winning of the hand of Sita in marriage. Displaced as rightful heir to his father's throne, Rama goes into exile, accompanied by Sita and by his brother Lakshmana. Sita is carried off by the demon king Ravana.With the aid of the monkey general Hanuman and an army of monkeys and bears, Rama, after a long search, slays Ravana and rescues Sita. Rama regains his throne and rules wisely. In the probable addition, Sita is accused in rumors of adultery during her captivity. Although innocent, she bears Rama's twin sons in exile,sheltered by the hermit Valmiki, said to be the author of the poem. After many years Rama and Sita are reunited.

Visual design is by Perry Yung (Slant) and lighting design is by Obie-winner Howard Thies.

The performing ensemble includes Andres Jimenez, Guro Ramon Jon Agtarap, Tomas Trinidad, Guro Frank Ortega, Brian Ortega, Andy Narenda, Rose Yapching, Lisa Parker, Desiree A. Seguritan, Kimberlee Caylo, Malaika Queano, Amira, Diane Camino, Mohammad Hatta, Allan Yesiandi, Achsan Harahap and Potri Ranka Manis.

The purpose of this page is to inform the users of the website of the heritage of their ancestors and to enlighten their knowledge that richly extends way before the Americans, Spaniards and Christianity.

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