Kayamanan Ng Lahi shares Filipino dance traditions during 61st annual LA County holiday celebration

Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts on Jerry Moss Plaza performing at this year’s 61st annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration | Photo courtesy of The Music Center Los Angeles

Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts is putting Filipino cultural traditions on display during Los Angeles County’s 61st annual holiday celebration on Christmas Eve.

The beloved holiday tradition, presented in conjunction with The Music Center, will be a three-hour virtual showcase of choirs, music ensembles and dance companies representing the diverse fabric of the city.

Starting at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve, December 24, the performances will be aired on PBS SoCal as well as online at pbssocal.org/holidaycelebrationkcet.org and Holidaycelebration.org.

KNL’s performance will highlight the celebratory traditional dance of the Southern Philippines typically performed at Thanksgiving, which pays homage to the spirits for a good harvest, healing and peace. The 30-year-old group brings together Angelenos who work in education, health care, hospitality and other vital LA industries.

Hosted by acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán and actor/producer Brian White, the 61st Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration offers Angelenos of all ages the opportunity to experience and honor the dynamic, rich cultures of the county.

Returning favorites include Latin folk band Cuñao, a Hawaiian celebration featuring Daniel Ho Trio and Hālau Keali’i o Nālani with special guest Tia Carrere, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, folklorico troupe Pacifico Dance Company, Gospel choir Praizum led by Lorenzo Johnson and Infinite Flow – An Inclusive Dance Company, a professional company of dancers with and without disabilities that uses dance as a catalyst to inspire inclusivity and innovation.

Some of this year’s performers making their Holiday Celebration debut include an ensemble from the American Youth Symphony, a dance and music collaboration from Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles with Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar, French-Chinese chanteuse Jessica Fichot, barbershop quartet Noteable and country-music trio Sean Oliu and The Coastline Cowboys. The show’s traditional finale of “Silent Night” will be a virtual collaborative performance, featuring Southern California Brass Consortium with a community choir comprised of many singers from this year’s roster of performers.

For those who miss the broadcast on Christmas Eve afternoon, PBS SoCal will air an encore presentation that evening at 7:00 p.m. PST. KCET will rebroadcast the show on Christmas Day at noon PST.

A scene from Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts’ performance at the 61st LA County Holiday Celebration, which will be broadcast on Christmas Eve. | Photo courtesy of The Music Center Los Angeles

In addition to the holiday celebration, KNL is one of seven community organizations involved in Grand Park’s Ground Our Present, Dot Your Future, a new public art installation designed to build community with enrichment, engagement and dialogue through art.

The quotes will appear on 24” multicolored circular decals guiding the familiar pathways of Grand Park between Grand Avenue and Broadway.

Here are some of the quotes in the installation as shared by KNL members:

• “Wearing a face mask is the new language of love for self, love for you, love for community…we are now kapwa tao.” – Ave Jacinto (Culver City)

• “Distance brings us together; adversity drives ingenuity: Angelenos, we get the job done.” – Frank Lozier (Paramount)

• “We are strongest together, and nothing can stop us, no matter how far apart we are.” – Lucca Salazar (Sylmar)

• “As owners of Genever, responsible for our service employees’ livelihood, we’re pushing boundaries and pivoting to thrive and not just survive.” – Tinette Sumiller (owner of Genever, a craft cocktail bar in Historic Filipinotown).

The installation will be presented in conjunction with Grand Park’s NYELA celebration, which will be shown on television and via streaming channels on December 31, 2020.

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