Events, People and Places

Maranao Moro dance artist making waves in the USA

By Masiding Noor Yahya

Potri Ranka Manis

Every weekday at noon in Fort lee, New Jersey’s Fort lee, famous Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company offers a free 1-hour company class online via Zoom. Classes are open to all dancers and you can meet the artists after the class ends.

On the week of May 4th, a Moro artist from the south of Philippines was among the teachers who featured their own brands of dance schemes and compositions. The other dance artists scheduled to teach were — Monday: Greta Campo (Kinetic Spiral); Tuesday: Peiju Chien-Pott (Graham); Wednesday: Yuka Notsuka (Contemporary); and Friday: Greta Campo (Kinetic Spiral).

New Jersey Stage, an online dance magazine based Spring Lake, New Jersey, said on Monday that Potri Ranka Manis, a Moro from the Philippines, was scheduled to give lessons on Thursday.

Potri Ranka Manis Queano Nur is the Founder/Artistic Director and Tradition-Bearer of Kinding Sindaw.

New Jersey Stage said in July 23, 2005, Potri was enthroned as Bai a Labi a Gaus sa Borocot (Affluent Queen of Borocot), a traditional village in Lanao del Sur, which claims a seat at the 16 or 17 Pagawidan aka Panoroganan sa Ranao (16 or 17 Royal Houses of Ranao.

Potri was born and raised in the Southern Philippines; she is a daughter of the late Sultan a Gaus of the Royale House of. She also learned the traditions of the neighboring indigenous communities.

She has written and directed many plays as a resident artist of LaMaMa. She founded Panata and co-authored and performed the Oratoyo-Bells of Balanggiga and acted a lead role in Dis-oriented, a feature film of Francisco Aliwalas.

She was in Draupadi directed by Ellen Stewart, La Mama Great Jones Repertoire. She is a artist-teacher faculty of Lotus Fine Arts.

She is a practitioner of Theater of the Oppressed and a producer and actor in Newyorkustan directed by Steven de Castro.

Potri is an artist-activist who campaigns for self-determination of the Moro and its indigenous people.

Hailed as a Spiritual Choreographer by Dance Magazine and recipient of multiple choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Nai-Ni Chen has been creating dances professionally for over thirty years in the United States.

She has built a diverse repertory of over 80 original works, and performed in major venues in the United States and international contemporary dance festivals in 12 countries.  (With story from New Jersey Stage)

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