Binasuan Folk Dance
Binasuan is a folk dance that originated in Bayambang, Pangasinan,. The word “binasuan” means “with the use of drinking glasses.” The dancers balance glasses on their heads and in their hands as they move. The glasses are filled with rice wine, which makes any misstep a messy mistake. People dance binasuan at weddings and festivals. A group of dancers generally performs binasuan, moving in unison, but occasionally breaking into smaller groups and performing different choreography. For example, they can begin in a circle, then form two columns, which then bend into semicircles, and one follows the other to reform the circle. The music is in three-quarter time.
At the beginning of a binasuan performance, one of the dancers may fill each individual cup with rice wine and pass them out to the other performers. The dancers can also come onstage with the cups already filled and balanced on their heads and hands. For your binasuan dance, make sure you fill each cup about half full of rice wine. You can also use water. To balance the cups, place one on the flattest part of your head, just behind the crown of your head. Now place another on one palm. You’ll need another person to place the last glass on your other palm. Keep your head level and high, and look straight ahead. Keep your palms facing up and slightly cupped, to hold your glasses in place.
Binasuan footwork looks remarkably similar to waltz steps. First, step out to the side with your right foot. Next, move your left foot up to your right foot. Third, tap your right foot. Now repeat this sequence, this time stepping to the side with your left foot.
To move along when you and the other dancers are moving in a circle, step to the side with your right foot. Now kick your left foot out: This is a small motion, so make sure your foot is only coming about three inches off the floor. Point your toe. Third, tap your left toes on the ground. Because the music is in three-quarter time, your steps should go like this: step, kick, tap, step, kick, tap.
To perform an arm balance, hold your arms up and out to the sides, with your palms up and your elbows slightly bent, held at about waist level. Your arms should look like you’re carrying a large log, balancing it on your palms and the insides of your forearms. Now, as you kick your left foot out in the waltz step, make a large circle in the air with your left arm. This circle should be horizontal–that is, all its points should be at the same height. You’ll make the circle by first bringing the heel of your hand close to your bicep, then moving your hand out to the left, keeping your hand flexed so your glass stays level. Straighten your elbow gradually as you keep moving your hand out and to the left. Keep a slight bend in your elbow as you reach the widest part of the circle, which will place your hand in front of your bicep again, but this time about two feet away from it. Keep moving your hand in this circle until it’s all the way back close to your bicep again. This entire arm movement should take up one three-count in the music. Now, as you kick out your right foot, perform the same motion with your right arm.