Pangalay is a dance style characterized by its fluid and graceful hand, wrist, and arm gestures, a smooth shuffling glide of the feet, and sharp, powerful strikes and stances from anciet Philippine marital arts. Pangalay orginates from the Sulu Archipelago generally by Ta’u Sug, Badjao, and Sama and some parts of Mindanao region in the Philippines.
Eric Solano has vast experience in researching and performing traditional dances and music from the Philippines. He has trained with Bayanihan, the Philippine national folk dance company; renowned folk dance authority, Ramon Obusan; Philippine Normal University’s Kislap Sining Dance Troupe; and Maguindanaoan and Ifugao experts. He has performed with Kislap Sining Dance Troupe, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Magui Moro Master Artists; Ifugao Music and Dance Ensemble of Banaue; KulArts; and the Madayaw Cultural Ensemble in Davao, Mindanao, Philippines. He is the former Artistic Director for the Barangay Dance Company and is the founder and president of the Parangal Dance Company.
Eric has received training sessions from Pangalay Master Artist Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa in 2011 and in 2014, he received classical Pangalay training from Sitti Airia Sangkula Askalani-Obeso, a Ta’u Sug, Cultural Master and former member of the pioneering Ta’u Sug performing arts, founded in the 1970’s, the Dayang-Dayang Dance Troupe, and with Mark Angel Tolentino, visual artist and performer, and Ta’u Sug at heart, Sitti Airia’s young Master Artist.
As a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2014, Eric worked with apprentice Brian Anthony B. Batugo. The apprenticeship focused on dance movements from three ethnic groups that share the pangalay style with variance in movements, attire, and music. Pangalay movements from the Yakan, Ta’u Sug, and Maguindanao peoples were emphasized.