Malagueña

Malagueña is a lively festival dance that was brought by the Spaniards to the Philippines. Literally, malagueña means 'anything from Malaga' or 'a woman from Malaga', Malaga being a region in the Iberian peninsula which is a part Spain. Originally, the malagueña was a song and a music form that is distinctly identifiable to Malaga. Malagueña dances are probably late dance adaptations to popular malagueña-style musics.

The malagueña as a dance form found good "dance floors" in the Philippines. Though executed differently than the original Spanish malagueña dance, the Filipino version is still as enticing and graceful as the Iberian original. Nevertheless, Filipino temperament are obvious in our versions.

Four versions of the malagueña are known to exist in the Philippines. The Malagueña de San Pablo from San Pablo, Laguna province can be considered as the most-Spanish in all the four versions. The elegant posturing and posing is remarkably similar to the 'snobbish' original. Here the original Spanish zapateado (footworks) was adapted though locally called panadyak or papadyak. The mellismatic music accompanying the dance is quiet un-Spanish. A slower version of the said malagueña music is however, used in the Malaguena version from Quezon province- the Malagueña de Catanauan from Catanauan town. This version is very Filipino in execution, the "flexed elbow flapping" movement is similar to Filipino lowland Christian dances that mimics birds or fowls. Another version, the Malagueña de Pila uses bamboo castanets to provide stacatto rhythm to the dancing. This version is more of a courtship than a festival dance. The least known of all the Filipino Malaguena dances is the hybrid Pandanggo Malagueña, a pas de deux. This version is one interesting dicovery of Philipine National Artist for Dance Awardee- Leonor Orosa-Goquinco in one of her early forays into studying our dance culture.

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