Filipino dance performed by Bailes de Jose Philippine Dance Company of Kauai in Hawaii – Established in 1967 we are dedicated to furthering Philippine dance by creating and performing original and innovative works of the highest quality folk dance extradinaire!
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You are in the realm of The Bailes de Jose Philippine Dance Company located on the island of Kaua’i!
Our Philippine dance company came into being on the whim of a need for cultural representation so that audiences could see the Filipino cultural aspect in a place where the tapestry of multi-dimensional diversities of ethnic blends prevail.
You see, the islands of Hawaii in the most isolated spot on planet Earth has become a place where the in-flow of many racial groups have been brought to the islands as part of with the waves and currents of history and ocean waters have inter-mingled as the world turns!
For many centuries, after Pacific Islanders first discovered these islands, Hawaii was virtually unknown to the western world until Captain James Cook happened upon the island of Kaua’i to “discover” these islands for those who did not know of these “paradise gems of the Pacific”. From whalers to those in search of new realms to conquer, others followed bringing laborers to the islands establishing a port linking the continents of the Western Hemisphere to the rest of the world!
So, from thatched huts in villages along riversides and valleys, little towns began to dot the islands until the conglomeration of the hustle and bustle of civilization’s progressive innovations and questionable intrusions brought the hue and cry of changes, influences, dynamics, conflicts, and challenges with the demands to accommodate needs and desires of those “in charge” and those “assigned” to do the bidding of those……”in charge”!
A part of that scenario was the establishment of sugar plantation towns, each with a mill to process the fields of sugar cane which stretched over fields of cultivated land to grow the stalks of cane that yielded the savory juices to meet the relentless craving for “sweetened” edibles world-wide! Among the workers were the Filipinos, whose brown-skinned, agile bodies could withstand the arduous tasks of growing and grinding cane…..from beginning to end!
And so, the Filipinos became a part of the cultural blend! First, with the single men who quartered in barrack-like housing with community kitchens and outhouses. Each had a single bedroom, shared spaces on a veranda where they could sit in the shade to mend their nets or to strum on their guitars; a small area where vegetables could be grown for home consumption and/or chickens and roosters were maintained for cooking and for gaming.
Soon after, however, they inter-married with the girls in the villages who were curious about these hard-working, nimble gentlemen. At the same time, it became evident, that many of the single-men longed to be with their loved ones from their homeland, so the women from the Philippines also found their way to become a part of the islands of the Pacific which were very similar to their villages in the “pearl of the Orient,” the Philippines.
And so, the ways in which the blends of cultures occurred in the gene pools that combined, the foods we ate, or in the languages we spoke, the extent and variety by which we have become so “internationalized” here in Hawaii is a testimony to the “essence of aloha” where love truly prevails!
So like the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Portuguese, and Puerto Ricans, the Filipinos came to become of the tapestry of rich, cultural diversity where truly, East meets West!
With this reality in mind, the Bailes de Jose Philippine Dance Troupe was formed on the premise that dance is a UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE which belongs to ALL people. It was intended from the very beginning that this dance company would be open to ANYONE and EVERYONE interested in learning the basic fundamentals of Filipino Folk Dances, regardless of race, color, or creed! Consequently, this group deliberately started with dancers who were Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, French, German, English, and Irish to begin with in our Philippine dance company!
To this day, ethnic variety prevails!