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Fandango-Pandanggo was a music, dance and multimedia performance exploring past and present musical connections between the Philippines, Mexico, Cuba and Spain through new compositions and arrangements by Florante Aguilar and myself.

It was presented on May 21, 2016, at the Cowell Theater as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF).

Fandango-Pandanggo was produced by Potaje Music in collaboration with  Florante’s Fandangueros and Cascada de Flores. Artists cast included singers Charmaine Clamor and Arwen Lawrence, musicians Chus Alonso, Florante Aguilar, Jorge Liceaga, Kyla Danysh, Paula Dreyer, Greg Kehret and Sage Baggott; dancers Roberto Borrell, Melissa Cruz, Jay Loyola and Fides Enriquez; and multimedia artists Alleluia Panis and Wilfred Galila.

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Photo by Jad Sobredo

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Why Fandango-Pandanggo? The Fandango represents an extensive family of musical styles and dances that are spread over three continents, including the Pandanggo from the Philippines, the Fandanguito Jarocho from Mexico, and the Fandangos de Huelva from Spain. Each of these styles is unique but nonetheless they share commonalities. The Fandango family is an example of the mestizo music that evolved within the Hispanic world through the interaction between people from Spain, the Americas, the Philippines, and West-Africa. Contrary to popular belief, the Fandango was born, not in Spain, but in Hispano-America: perhaps in the Caribbean, or Mexico, even possibly Peru. In any case, it originated in a mestizo Hispano-American environment and from there it spread to other areas in Hispano-America, back to Spain and forward to Philippines; having a major influence everywhere it reached as well as evolving with the contact of each new environment. In Spain, it revolutionized the folk traditions of the XVIII century and inspired classical composers such as Scarlatti, Antonio Soler and Boccherini. From Spain it continued spreading its influence to the music and dance of Europe. The Fandango is also an example of a music style created within a hybrid, low social class which then slowly permeated other strata, until finally reaching the intellectual elite. The descendants of the Fandango are still alive and kicking. We still find them in the Philippines, Spain, Mexico and  California.


Filipino composer, Florante Aguilar, and I, a Spanish composer, examined the music that connects us, such as the fandango, and  presented new works inspired by our reflections. 


Thanks to the Friends of Chamber Music for their support to this project


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Fandango-Pandanggo performance on May 21, 2016 – Photo by Jad Sobredo


Fandango-Pandanggo video clip collage by Mercedes Romero 

 Fandango-Pandanggo slide show, photos by Maite Klein

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Photo by Krystle PJ


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Roberto Borrell and Melisa Cruz rehearsing for Fandango-Pandanggo. Photo by Chus Alonso
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Roberto Borrell and Melisa Cruz rehearsing for Fandango-Pandanggo. Photo by Chus Alonso


Melissa Cruz posing for Fandango-Pandanggo multimedia artisits, Wilfred Galila and Alleluia Panis. Pictures and slide show by Chus Alonso.
Music: fragment from Castillo de Sonidos by Chus Alonso

Fandango-Pandango rehearsal on May 6, 2016.
Video by Claudia Finkle

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