a happy camper

Fiesta Folkloriada

Posted in Uncategorized by Sonny Thakur on May 12, 2009

I haven’t done any work in ages, so when my homeboy Hungry Photographer asked me to help document an event that his mother organized together with the Department of Tourism, I couldn’t resist and packed up as soon as I got the call.

Ton and I got to the venue a couple minutes late, but got to work right away. The Philippine Womens University’s auditorium was packed with the folk dancers that were sent over from 10 countries across Asia and Europe for a cultural exchange program. It was very interesting to see them exchange dance moves and such, it’s probably what a dance battle would have looked like in the 1800’s.

A Bayanihan Dancer trying out a Belgian flag spinning routine.

Indonesian students performing on stage. A lot of them are quite young and still in Highschool but are so damn skilled.

Sri Lankan dancers, watching and observing Indonesian dancers, just incase they get called up on stage.

My Slovakian homeboy getting his hands tied up in what looks to be a simple dance. I tried it out for a second and just walked away in frustration.

I enjoy taking photos of people with outfits that date back hundreds of years, and contrast with technology, in this case a digital camera.

Happy Slovakian feet, all the way from Bratislava.

Everyone seems to be getting along just fine here.

There were even a handful of beautiful Chinese dancers with catlike flexibility, and reflex if provoked.

This dancer from the Little Egret Dance Troupe of Xiamen wowed everybody in the crowd. She received an ovation even before she reached the climax of routine.

This lady was impressed and couldn’t stop taking photos.

Chinese boys running after…

Chinese girls…

and showing others how to do it πŸ™‚

Apparently, his dancing didn’t get her attention. πŸ™‚

On to the Gala Night for VIP’s. I let Ton take care of the reception while I did the backstage stuff instead. It’s more of my thing really.

Except for this photo maybe. I like it.

Common backstage area where dancers from different countries talked “shop”.

The Sicilians, goofing around.

Polish dancers warming up and stretching.

Sri Lankan dancer putting on her makeup before the show. It was quite easy to shoot here because they probably thought I was Sri Lankan as well. πŸ™‚

Sri Lankan dancer fixing up one of the many accessories he has to wear for the show. The Sri Lankan dancers were the youngest in the bunch.

The Koreans had a very complicated routine and needed lots of fine tuning to get things going their way. Their coordination as a team really made them stand out. This was at the common backstage area, where they put up a show for everybody.

The group from Indonesia was up first.

I love how the dancers were so supportive of each other, and took time out to watch the routines.

This guy got on the tribal drums much later into the program and he was pretty damn wicked.

Belgians came up after the Indonesians. These guys have some pretty amazing flag skills.

Can’t quite remember the order the countries went up on center stage, so ill just throw a couple photos at you.

Belgian sword dance.

See the contrast I’m talking about? (also, note the shitty WB? I’m lazy to go through 600+ photos and try to fix up the good ones in post. I learned my lesson on this job, get it right the first time.)

The Polish dancers had about 8 different routines with amazing footwork and twirling. There was also plenty of stick throwing.

The ladies of the Little Egret Dance Troupe of Xiamen were waiting for their turn on stage. They were watching this…

their fellow dancers, put up a great display of what happens when a couple has had better years before themselves.

This is some of the best dancing I have seen in such a long time. The Little Egret Dance Troupe performed at the Beijing games in front of a packed stadium, and were received so well, they were called back in for an encore the next day.

Like I said earlier, the Koreans really are such a coordinated group…

…and each of them, made to look almost exactly like each other.

A spinning Slovakian. πŸ™‚

Couple of Bulgarians.

and the host of the event, the Bayanihan Folk Dance group of the Philippines.

Manly Man.

and a pretty girl.

those big hats look like these when somebody gets the lights. πŸ˜‰

and by this time, the sides of the stage filled up really quick, and homeboy here had prime spot, I couldn’t muscle him or get him to understand that I needed that spot, but he deserves a couple of souvenirs for putting up with traveling from all the way in Slovakia.

guess he was having so much fun and didn’t realize he was the last one on stage. πŸ™‚

The show for the VIPs was a complete success, that many of them returned the next day hoping for a different repertoire. It was basically lather rinse repeat the next show with a couple interesting behind the scenes stuff again.

after the final Bayanihan performance, all the dancers went up on stage to take a final bow in front of a pretty amused crowd

I was wondering why the dancers didn’t go backstage, but instead, walked right into the crowd

After finishing up some backstage photos, I heard loud music coming from the lobby of the CCP. The Italians worked up the audience and the other musicians to start a gigantic congo line, over 150 people I believe.I don’t think a photo would do much justice, so let me make a vimeo account for the video πŸ˜‰

There were still two whole days of festivities to cover, but I got hit hard by a throat and stomach infection and had to rest it out. I would’ve wanted to catch these guys at the huge parade they had at the Mall Of Asia by the bay, during sunset. Please excuse the poor narration, I’m really not feeling too sharp with this mind numbing, sinus blocking cold.

Cheers from rain, then shine, then rain, then shine, Manila.

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14 Responses

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  1. davidtong said, on May 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    WOO HOO, that was a really nice read…

    Damn clean images dude.

  2. ahappycamper said, on May 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Many thanks David πŸ™‚

  3. xave said, on May 12, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    great photos, wish i couldve seen this with my own eyes as well πŸ™‚

  4. Ryan T. said, on May 12, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    sonny.. the documentation you did was amazing
    mark2’s getting a workout a hehe can’t wait for the vid
    cheers!

    P.S. getting it right the first time saves a lot of PP time. learned it the hard way too πŸ˜€

  5. ahappycamper said, on May 12, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks buddy πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed.
    I’ll be trying to get more work done this year.

  6. Runway2Reality said, on May 13, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Wonderful shots dude! Galing!

  7. tisha caesandra said, on May 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    hahahaha great page…i was there, it was damn fun n amazing and terrific. indescribable experience for me..i wanna start it all over again πŸ˜₯

  8. Japoyps said, on May 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Dude, you’ve come a long way. I think you’re getting very close to mastering your art. Granted, there’s always something to learn, but it looks like you’ve learned so much already. Incredibly awesome pics, man.

  9. vyara said, on May 14, 2009 at 3:02 am

    yup, amazing!

  10. ichigo, buko & mr. roboto said, on May 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    great behind the scenes shots!

  11. ahappycamper said, on May 14, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks you guys! πŸ™‚

  12. Celia said, on May 14, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    hey many thanks for the pics. its me celia the highschool student from indonesia who danced there. wonderful pics!

  13. Laura said, on June 30, 2009 at 3:53 am

    It is great!I used to dance and I spent in the Philippines 4 years§pity I couldnt be there!Thanks for nice pictures!

  14. […] Fiesta Folkloriada May 2009 13 comments 3 […]


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