Photo courtesy of Crista Aguinaldo
Similar to an infinity scarf, but running almost the full length of my body, the malong is a garment native to the Philippines. It has many functions: a prop to dance with, a fashion accessory and, a few times, a baby carrier when I’ve had to accommodate my youngest son who wanted to be carried during my rehearsal.
I’ve just recently made these a staple in my bag. They’re used for arnis, a form of Filipino martial arts. We had incorporated arnis into our choreography this past summer but I’ve become addicted to training with them. There are actually some surprisingly great stretches I can do with them as well. So, just like my malong, they’re multi-purpose.
This is a staple any time I have to bring my kids to rehearsal with me. Though they are pretty good about staying in a corner, watching and not being disruptive, for extra long rehearsals, if there aren’t any extra hands around to help preoccupy them, I whip this out for the last leg of practice so we can get through what we need to.
I’ve been super conscious about keeping hydrated and making sure I have this with me.
Very simply, I’m addicted to gum. I always like to have it on hand. I do, however, make sure that I am never chewing during a rehearsal.
I have diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles), so I always have this with me in case my core is feeling particularly weak. I try not to be dependent on it, but it is a great tool, especially when I feel my lower back starting to ache on me.
Dancing and talking all through my work can definitely make my lips feel dry, and I quite honestly can’t focus on anything if my lips are dry!
As a mother of three young children and co-founder of Hataw Performing Arts, a modernized dance group based on the folk dance of the Philippines, Crista Aguinaldo is always on the go. “I often have no time to pack a proper dancebag,” says Aguinaldo, “so it ends up being my purse that I lug around daily (even with my dance stuff in it). I either have nothing or everything with me at any given time.”
Crista Aguinaldo in High Blood presented in collaboration with Datu at SummerWorks (2016) / Photo by Bo Fajardo
Posted April 10, 2017
You May Also Like...
Saving money and thinking about retirement for dance artists
HATAW performs at SummerWorks and Kultura festivals this month.
August 5-7 août 2017
Kultura is Canada’s only multi-disciplinary Filipino Arts Festival. This year, the expansive festival is taking over Nathan Phillips Square.