‘Pananadem’ Keeps Meranao Culture Alive Through Dance

In Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage’s “Pananadem,” a cast of mostly Filipino and Filipino-American performers educates New York City audiences about the Meranao people with beautifully choreographed dances, stunning costumes, and meaningful stories.

'Pananadem' Keeps Meranao Culture

The Meranao people live in a primarily Muslim region of The Philippines, where the word “pananadem” means “remembering.”

Both past and present collide as young refugees meet tradition-bearers who know Derangen, a Meranao epic poem. Derangen is intended to be narrated in song or chant and has survived the longest of any Filipino epic poetry.

'Pananadem' Keeps Meranao Culture

The dancers illustrate the endurance of the Meranao people throughout their generations of adversity, with much attention being placed on the desperate circumstances in Marawi following the 2017 Seige of Marawi. The juxtaposition between the sheer beauty of the Meranao people’s ancestral dances, music, language, and clothing and the centuries of hardships they have been forced to endure from foreign invaders is startling.

'Pananadem' Keeps Meranao Culture

“Pananadem” is a living reminder of the power of memory and learning from your family’s history. If you honor the resilience of your ancestors, they are immortalized.

Conceived, Choreographed & Directed by Potri Ranka Manis.
Running from March 12 – 15, 2020.

Playing at:
La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 E 4th St
New York, NY 10003


In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, all public events and performances of shows at La MaMa are suspended as of Friday, March 13, 2020, until further notice. Ticket buyers will be contacted as soon as possible with more information.

'Pananadem' Keeps Meranao Culture


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Gemma Lolos

Social Media Manager, City Pulse Editor + Staff Writer

Gemma Lolos is a fiercely proud native New Yorker who is devoted to the arts in all its many forms. She loves to sing and listen to music, read great literature, experience inspiring theatre and film, and stream addictive television. She works full-time as a Marketing professional in New York City and does freelance writing on the side. In her free time, Gemma tries to immerse herself in the New York arts scene as much as possible, eat great food, and travel whenever she is able.