RICH and colorful cultural presentations shine bright at the stage of the 12th International China (Nanning) Garden Expo in Nanning, China last December 2018 as groups from the Philippines together with other Southeast Asian countries, and some European countries showcase each country’s traditional music and dance for the Sister Cities Art Show.
Around 15 performing groups from the different participating countries entertained hundreds of spectators at the Garden Expo Stage. It was not easy for all of the performers especially to those who have sleeveless or thin-layered costumes to perform due to the very cold temperature that reached 13 degrees Celcius.
As much as we want to witness each other’s performance, the unwelcoming weather kept us in the dressing room and wait for our turn because a few minutes of just standing outside wearing costumes caused pain in the ankle, knees, and feet.
But despite the bone-chilling weather, 13 performances were showcased during the first Sister City Art Show at the Garden Expo. Among these are the lion dance of Vietnam, plate dance of Malaysia, Aprasa dance of Thailand, Khene Mouth Organ ensemble of Laos, and the Moro dances of Philippines that include Singkil and fan dance.
The day after, the performing groups once again performed inside a shopping mall in Nanning, where municipal officials and guests witnessed the final Sister Cities Art show. In here, we were able to see each other’s performances in the side lines.
Vietnam’s acrobatic lion dance; Malaysia’s amazing fan handling; and Malaysia’s plate dance for me were the standouts during the show but regardless everybody displayed discipline to their dances and skills in their steps that made the whole show spectacular before the Chinese audience.
Before wrapping up the show, we finally got a chance to have a group photo with Malaysia, Laos, and Vietnam. Despite the language barrier we were able to greet and congratulate each other before parting ways.
It was indeed a memorable trip for me as a photojournalist and also a performer of Kalumon Performing Ensemble, representing once again Davao City and its rich and diverse but united culture in the global scene.