“Fingernail dance” is the sobriquet given to a South East Asian dance known as Pangalay. This “traditional” dance is said to have originated from Sulu islands located in the Philippines, and is said to have been created by the Tausug people. Apparently, this dance is said to be extremely similar to the classical Balinese and Thai dances. Furthermore, this dance also comprises of another version referred to as “Pakiring”. This dance style is supposedly based on pre-Islamic and Buddhist concepts related to male and female celestial agents.

History and origin of the Pangalay Dance:

According to the Sanskrit language Pangalay, means “Temple of dance”. This dance is also said to have been created by people belonging to the Tausug community. In terms of technique this dance is also similar to the Javanese and Thai form of dancing, and is also said to possess elements belonging to a form of Southeast Asian martial art known as “Kuntaw Silat”. In addition, this dance is performed mainly during weddings and other festive occasions. There are two alternate versions of this dance and they include:

  1. Pangasik: Performed mainly by males.
  2. Pangiluk: Performed by both males and females.

Also Read : 5 Most Popular Portuguese Traditional Dances

Costumes used in the Pangalay Dance:

The costume used in this dance style usually includes the Joloano and Janggay. In addition, metallic fingernail extensions also form a major component of the costume.

As seen in some videos and images of Pangalay dancers, they are observed to wear a purple colored sawal (loose trouser), a cream batawi (silken blouse), avelvet tapis (wrap around),anda red pis syabit (head dress),with his arms cleaving around a large roll of Persian rug .

Music involved in the Pangalay Dance:

Pangalay dancers dances on the music played by local instrumentalists.

Local musician pulsating rhythm of a keyboard-arranged kulintangan means “happy feet”. The music involved in Pangalay is different and is also called panagalay music unique in its own form.

Pangalay Dance Videos (YouTube)

Also Read : ITIK-ITIK- PHILIPPINES: A dance inspired by ‘movements of a duck’

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