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POLKA

The polka, considered as the national dance of Bohemia(Czechoslovakia), was among the first dances introduced by the early European immigrants to the Philippines and by Filipinos who had been to Europe. It was popularized in the Islands not later than 1859. It was usually performed as a ballroom dance during fiestas or grand social affairs. The basic dance step of the polka is executed to a duple meter with a step-close-step pattern following the one-and-two rhythm. Other polka steps used in the dance are the heel-and-toe polka, the hop polka, the gallop, chasing steps, and the hop step. Every locality would have its own version, but the basic steps, the plain polka, and the hee-and-toe polka were always included.

The Quezon polka is performed in sets of four pairs in square formation. In Bataan the dance is called polka tagala. In one figure of the dance, the ladies kick their voluminous skirts forward and backward to show off their beautiful lace petticoats. In Batangas, the dance was called polka sa nayon, while in Mindoro it was known as polka sala. Among the Visayans, the dance was called polka antigo, and in Negros Occidental polka italiana.

In Ilocos Norte, there is a courtship dance called sileledaang, which means laden with sorrow. Interestingly, the dancers here show their fondness for each other using the basic polka step to a tempo.

The maliket-a-polka is another version of this dance form. Maliket in Pangasinan means happy therefore, happy polka. This is danced during fiestas in honor of the Santo Niño, patron saint of a barrio of Pangasinan. When the dance is per as a ballroom dance during fiestas or grand social affairs. The basic dance step of the polka is executed to a duple meter with a step-close-step pattern following the one-and-two rhythm. Other polka steps used in the dance are the heel-and-toe polka, the hop polka, the gallop, chasing steps, and the hop step. Every locality would have its own version, but the basic steps, the plain polka, and the hee-and-toe polka were always included.

The Quezon polka is performed in sets of four pairs in square formation. In Bataan the dance is called polka tagala. In one figure of the dance, the ladies kick their voluminous skirts forward and backward to show off their beautiful lace petticoats. In Batangas, the dance was called polka sa nayon, while in Mindoro it was known as polka sala. Among the Visayans, the dance was called polka antigo, and in Negros Occidental polka italiana.

In Ilocos Norte, there is a courtship dance called sileledaang, which means laden with sorrow. Interestingly, the dancers here show their fondness for each other using the basic polka step to a tempo.

The maliket-a-polka is another version of this dance form. Maliket in Pangasinan means happy therefore, happy polka. This is danced during fiestas in honor of the Santo Niño, patron saint of a barrio of Pangasinan. When the dance is performed today for the stage, the balintawak with tapis and soft pañuelo draped over the left shoulder is used by the girls while the camisa de chino and any pair of olored trousers are used by the males.

Source: CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art
Volume V - Philippine Dance


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