ITIK ITIK DANCE – PHILIPPINES: A dance inspired by ‘Movements of a duck’

Itik-Itik is a Philippines folk dance form created by imitating the “movements of a duck” such as wading, flying, and short steps and splashing water on their backs like the ducks do.

This “mimetic” folk dance is said to have originated from the province of Surigao in Philippines. Apparently, this dance form is said to have been popular in towns such as Carrascal, Cantilan, Lanuza, and Carmen.

Furthermore, there are a few alternate versions of this dance form found in places within the country such as Visayas, Samar, Cebu, and the Tibiao but Itik-Itik Surigaonon remains the most popular.

You might have heard about the waltz dance, merengue, rhumba, Jive, and many other types of dance forms but their can be a dance called as duck dance then yes it is. Let’s read more about it.

History and origin of the Itik Itik Dance:

A popular Fillipino legend states that this dance was first created by a young Filipina maiden-dancer of Surigao del Norte named Kanang who was considered to be best dancer in the Surigao province.

Apparently, due to her dancing prowess she was asked to perform the Sibay – another important Filipino dance, at a baptism ceremony.

While performing the Sibay, she got inspired by the music and decided to improvise the dance steps borrowing from the movements of a duck.

This unique dance was then named “Itik-Itik” since “Itik” means “duck” in the local Tagalog language.

Costumes used in the Itik-Itik Dance:

The costume worn in this dance form varies according to the gender, and they are as follows:

1. For Men:

The attire worn generally includes barong tagalog (embroidered formal shirt considered the national dress of Philippines) or the camisa de chino (a collarless Chinese shirt with short sleeves worn under the barong tagalog), and white trousers. Men also sport a bright colored ‘neckerchief’ (kerchief around their neck).

2. For Women:

The attire generally worn includes the baro’t saya (traditional Philippines dress for women), patadyong (a wrap around loose skirt) or the balintawak (a native dress of Filipino women consisting of dress and skirt woven of local fibers with a kerchief and apron to match). Women wear the bandanna around their head which makes the overall look very nice.

Music played in the Itik-Itik Dance:

Itik-Itik is performed to the tune of Dejado. The musical instrument mainly used in this dance form is the Rondella, a string instrument ensemble. In addition, instruments such as bandurrias, mandolins, guitars, basses, drums, and banjos are also used.

Training availability and dance technique involved in the Itik-Itik Dance:

In terms of technique, this dance involves imitating movements seen in a duck. Furthermore, the movements involved in this dance include wading, flying, and short choppy steps. As for training centers and schools, there are none available around the world since this “mimetic” dance form is mainly performed in the Philippines. 

Video explaining the Itik Itik dance steps:

Itik-Itik Instructional Video
Itik Itik Folk Dance Video
Itik Itik Dance Video

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