Chamorro dance brings Guam history, culture to life
Throughout the world, traditional dance brings communities together in a common purpose: to preserve and promote awareness of cultural heritage through performance arts. Whether it’s to celebrate rites of passage, bring folklore and history to life, or to commune with the ancients and the land, traditional dance is a key component in cultural survival, and this is especially true for Guam.
Historically, not a lot was recorded about Chamorro dance by early explorers and visitors, yet the art is thriving and evolving, much to the credit of Chamorro Dance Masters Francisco “Frank” Rabon, director of Pa’a Taotao Tano’ (A Way of Life of the People of the Land) and Vincent J. C. Reyes, director of Inetnon Gefpå’go (A Beautiful Gathering).
As two of Guam’s renowned gumas (cultural houses), members of Pa’a Taotao Tano’ and Inetnon Gefpå’go have performed for audiences across the island and around the world, and have brought home awards and special recognition for their moving and lively routines. In some signature dances, young men jump, shout and crash together long sticks called tunas to showcase the agility and prowess of a warrior. Chamorro cultural dance covers three historical periods: the Ancient Period, the Spanish Colonial Period, and the Contemporary Period.
During your visit to Guam, don’t miss an opportunity to watch spirited Chamorro dancers bring Guam’s history and traditions to life with vibrant performances that have captivated audiences all around the world. The Dinana’ Minagof Festival (held every February) and the Dinana Pa’a Taotao Tano’ Chamorro Dance Competition & Festival (held every June) are Guam’s largest annual celebrations of Chamorro dance and both festivals are events the whole family can enjoy.
Chamorro dance can also be seen every week at the Chamorro Village Wednesday Night Market. Many hotels incorporate some Chamorro dance in their Polynesian-themed dinner shows, but these shows are known for prominently featuring Chamorro cultural dance:
Bayside BBQ Dinner & Show
Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort
Featuring an island-style fiesta buffet and entertainment by Guam’s renowned Chamorro dance groups, Pa’a TaoTao Tano and Inetnon Gefpa’go.
Taotao Tasi Guam
Beach Bar & Grill
Featuring unlimited BBQ buffet on the beach with ocean view and a large-cast show with 50 performers on a 150-foot stage.