“..the group researches and preserves the indigenous art forms of music, dance, folklore and costumes of the Philippines.”
The Bayanihan Dance Company, also known as the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company is the country’s oldest dance company. It is nationally and internationally acclaimed and is even considered as the depository of Filipino dances, dress and songs according to Guillermo Gomez Rivera.
The company was founded by Helena Z. Benitez in 1957. The group started as the Folk Dance Group of the Philippine Women’s University. They debuted on May 27, 1958 at Expo ’58 at the Brussels World Fair as requested by then President Ramon Magsaysay. They have since then made at least 14 major tours in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA. The contingents have performed in 6 continents, 66 countries and 700 cities in the world. They performed folk dances all throughout the Philippines and other countries. The group takes its name from the Filipino word “Bayanihan” which means working hand in hand for the good of everyone.
The group has been recognized because of their efforts to promote Filipino dance in the country and the world. To further show appreciation and recognition of the pioneering efforts and the success that the group has garnered, the 10th Congress enacted Republic Act 8626 declaring the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company as the National Folk Dance Company of the Philippines. Since then, the group has won 6 Grand Prizes in World Dance competitions.
In partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the group researches and preserves the indigenous art forms of music, dance, folklore and costumes of the Philippines. They also work to restructure and enhance the research findings to evolve the repertoires that suit the demand of contemporary theater as well as promote international goodwill through performances. Each of the dances is crafted from folklore and other aspects of Philippine culture to promote goodwill on international performances and presentations.