Tinikling is a folkloric dance in the Philippines which involves two persons stamping or beating two long bamboo poles on the ground while a dancer or dancers rhythmically step into or dance within and outside the poles, while taking care that their feet don’t get caught between the bamboo poles.
The tinikling dance has several versions depending on the island or ethnic groups. In southern Mindanao, for instance, the Tausog tribe has a more complex and intense version called singkil which involves several dancers and a complex choreography and narrative.
But the basic tinikling dance involves the dancer or dancers rhythmically stepping into the poles while keeping up with the increasing tempo of the poles stamping (in and outward) motions. Dexterity, speed and agility are displayed by the dancers with the women, for instance, playing with fans while dancing, or their male partners performing simple acrobatics all the while ensuring that their feet don’t get caught between the poles frenzied movements.
Nowadays, and rather than a national dance tradition as practiced in previous generations, the tinikling is relegated into the folkloric dance category that is mainly performed for or seen by foreign tourists, since many young Filipinos would rather dance to the beat of modern pop music.
Mabuhay ang tinikling!