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    Thursday, August 22, 2019-11:03:31P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMI cultural dancers perform in Taiwan

MEMBERS of ManAntigo and the Refaluwasch Warriors served as the CNMI’s cultural ambassadors when they participated in the Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival in Taiwan.

The festival, which showcased cultures from around the world, was held from July 6 to Aug. 18.

Frances Sablan, leader of ManAntigo, said it was the first time that her group and the Refaluwasch Warriors participated in the Yilan festival. They have been receiving invitations from the organizers since 2016, she added.

ManAntigo and Refaluwasch Warriors  perform a chant at the 20th annual Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival in Taiwan. The festival was held from July 6 to Aug. 18.  Contributed photoManAntigo and Refaluwasch Warriors perform a chant at the 20th annual Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival in Taiwan. The festival was held from July 6 to Aug. 18. Contributed photo

To participate this year, she said “all of us raised funds to pay for our roundtrip airfare and other expenses.” But the planning committee, the Taiwan government and sponsors took care of their housing and three full meals while they were in Taiwan. They also received allowance for the 10 days that they were scheduled to perform and participate in the cultural and community activities.

She said they started to receive invitations from various international festivals when the CNMI became a member of the Federation of International Dance and Arts Festivals or FIDAF.

“I was invited [to join the federation] by Vince Reyes, FIDAF board member from Guam and chairman of the Oceania Region, and group manager and choreographer of Inetnon Gef På’go,” she said.

“In 2016, the CNMI became a FIDAF member through me. The Chamolinian Cultural Village Inc. paid for my bi-annual membership fee in Cheonan, Korea,” Sablan said.

At the recent Taiwan festival, she said several cultural groups from Asian, Latin American and European nations also participated. These included India, Thailand, Mexico, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Turkey.

“The preparation for such an event as a performing artist group was very arduous, difficult, time-consuming, demanding and expensive,” Sablan said. “But the rewards are enriching, positive and memorable.”

The festival, she added, has opened the door to other Chamorro and Carolinian cultural groups.

While in Taiwan, “one of the things I stressed as the group coordinator and leader was to make sure everyone is at their best behavior. We are ambassadors of the CNMI. We want to ensure the CNMI continues to be invited back, giving other performing artists an opportunity to participate.”