KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato,  Feb. 10 (PIA) --  Dance  and  Rondalla workshops, arts  exhibits and one-act plays  will  underscore  South Cotabato’s  celebration of  February as National  Arts Month.

Provincial  Tourism Officer  Cesar  Sulit  Jr.,  said the month-long celebration  will kick off on Saturday, February 11, at the KCC Mall  of Marbel with the  opening of a  visual  arts exhibit  at the mall’s  activity area.

“The exhibits   will feature paintings  of the visual artists in the province. Local  fashion designers will also  showcase their designs,” Sulit said.  The exhibits will run until  February 26.

Sulit said this is the  first  time  in many years that  the visual  artists  of  South Cotabato  have  decided to come together to  promote their works.

Meanwhile, the  South Cotabato  Performing  Arts Ensemble  will also spearhead workshops  on  folk, contemporary and hip hop dances  and  Rondalla  music  for  teachers, students and out-of school youth on  February 16 to  18  at the Protech  Center  along Alunan Avenue, this city.

Aside from  basic dance steps and movements and other rudiments, the dance workshops  will also include  training on  choreography.

On the other hand, the  workshop  on playing  Rondalla instruments  is  intended to sustain this kind of  musical presentation.  At present, there are only three  Rondalla  groups  existing in South Cotabato, Sulit added.  

Rondalla  is an ensemble of  stringed instruments played with  pick.

No  registration fees are  required to attend the aforementioned  workshops, the provincial tourism officer said.

The Arts, Culture, Tourism and Sports Promotion Unit  will also  hold basic and advanced dance  and  music  workshops of choreographers and musicians  on February 26 to 28.

These particular workshops aim to  establish  choreographers and  musicians  in schools and communities  in preparation  for the  street dancing competitions  of the  Tnalak Festival in July.

"We want to train the  school-based and  community-based choreographers on the  movements and  music  of the three  street dancing categories:  Tboli and Blaan dances,  Maguindaon dances, and  Kapatagan  dances performed  by the Christian settlers,"  Sulit said.   

He emphasized that the provincial  government wants the street dancing  performances  during the Tnalak  Festival  will authentically  represent the  cultures  tribal groups of South Cotabato.    

The provincial government has earmarked  P408,275  for the  National  Arts Month celebration, locally  called  as  “Tubas  Taliambong “ 2017  roughly translated  as “Harvest of the Arts.”

Apart  from the  aforementioned  activities, the  Apat Sa Taglamig Stage Play Productions, Inc., a group of local  theater  artists,  will be  staging  its  5th Drama Festival: Dose, 12 Reasons & More to Fall in Love Again”  at the KCC Mall  of Marbel.

It will feature  four  one-act plays  on the  following  schedules:

“Si Maria Isabella at ang Guryon ng mga Tala” by Eljay Castro Deldoc. An adaptation of Dean Francis Alfar’s short story, “The Kite of Stars.”

February 11 & 25,  1:00 PM and 4:00 PM

February 12 & 26, 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Kwesi M. Junsan’s “The Smell of the After Storm”

Ryan Arenga’s “Luna”  and

Leo Dominic Padua’s “Ikalimang Berdeng Lobo”

February 18,  1:00 PM and 4:00 PM

February 19, 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM

February  was  declared  National  Arts  Month  by  virtue of  Proclamation No. 683 signed  by Pres. Corazon Aquino on January 28, 1991. (AMZLim and DEDoguiles-PIA 12)