Armand Venenciano

English 165 AK

Liza Erpelo

Final Paper



Fusion of two different cultures



Throughout history Filipinos can be known or rumored to be well-known traditional dancers and performers. Filipino Americans today can establish themselves in pop culture thru dancing. Although, both views can clash in today’s society one can take pop culture and traditional views into perspective and blend them together creating a Fusion.

     A fusion genre is a music genre which combines two or more genres. For example, rock and roll originally developed as a fusion of blues, gospel and country music. The main characteristics of fusion genres are variations in tempo, rhythm and sometimes the use of long musical "journeys" that can be divided into smaller parts, each with their own dynamics, style and tempo.” (Wikipedia)


A great example of using dancing as an outlet is Edward Dizon, director of Fusion Dance team whom I interviewed this past April. To my knowledge I had no information on Fusion dance team except word of mouth from a cousin that knew that Fusion dance team held dance practices at San Francisco State University. Based on the interview I wanted to gain knowledge on how pop culture has an impact on many Filipinos. I had nothing but a high expectation of gaining a sense of knowledge and no biases on dancers. The interview took place outdoors at S.F. State University where I asked questions regarding about Ed's past: getting involved into dancing, present: how fusion is currently at S.F. State, how Fusion out reaches to the Filipino communities and future goals for Fusion.


After the interview I was able to research on a hip-hop timeline where and when breaking originated from. Ed talked about his uncle taught him how to break dance. During his uncle's time it should have been when break dancing was at its earliest stages around 1970's. When Ed started to dance by popping and locking' it was around the 1980's other dances came around such as the kid' n' play, running man and was able to catch on pretty quick.

     “Break dancing also known as b-boying, the main aspect of the dance element of hip-hop, ahead of popping, locking, crumping etc. A dance created by afro-americans that evolved from popping and locking, which involves style, smoothness, strength and self-control.” (Urban Dictionary)


Being at a young age Ed could absorb all the different dances that was offered to him.


Ed also talks about how PCN helped influence his dancing by meeting other dance groups. He challenged himself by learning the traditional folkloric dances of Filipino culture. By this time Ed was in college and that’s when his interest of dancing blew up. PCN is short for Pilipino Cultural Night where in one night there’s a play that describes Filipino issues such as: identity, culture, history and the play includes traditional folkloric dancing as well as modern hip-hop dancing. After my interview with Ed I decided to go to see San Francisco State’s PCN. I felt that it would be in my best interest to explore the whole set of issues and the dances that are played out. In short, the whole play was about four hours long and to some of my surprise I can relate to some of the issues that come up. There are a handful of dances that I didn’t even know about, but it was cool watching the people perform the dances on stage. PCN is usually acted out during the springtime and played throughout the California colleges just go online and find out.


One can create a fusion of both cultures of past and present; traditional Filipino views and Filipino American views. PCN can help describe both cultures to the audience because they can relate to the issues that are brought up.  Stories within PCN can focus on identity issues where one doesn't know how to find him/herself because of the different set of values each culture has to offer. Yet, both cultures are different one can find him/herself in the middle and can become neutral by: learning the languages, being involved within the community, knowing the history and knowing oneself. By outreaching towards the community you can connect with the future generation of Filipinos.


By taking dancing to another level Ed talks about reaching out to the Filipino community. With being involved with such groups as P.A.C.E. and high school communities he happened to notice that the youth wanted to be involved with dancing. By being Filipino American himself Ed decides to provide an outlet for the youth community and set an example. By setting an example, Ed makes the youth inspired to have a sense of family, and that hanging around educated people then you'll most likely wanting to be educated. In addition, providing an outlet for the youth communities such as dancing is like an activity that helps them stay away from drugs, gangs, and violence. Being able to perform live on stage shows that the parents can be proud of their children instead of being involved in some sort of trouble.


Dancing thru pop-culture can be seen everywhere in forms of media. For example, the new hit show on Fox network “So you think you can dance?”  The show gives everyone a chance to audition to show off his or her dancing skills. There are many forms of dancing that are seen within the show. Although, I have only seen the show twice it is safe to say that the show is similar to American idol where instead of singing you dance. For some, such shows like this can inspire people to dance and pursue the dancing career. Another form of media that dance is seen thru pop culture is movies. The movie called The Debut itself has to deal with the main character Ben and how he’s torn between the two different cultures: traditional and American. Some of the traditional views on the movie are the Filipino gathering of the families, parents’ views on future plans. Some of the American values that’s are seen in the movie are: having fun, going to a public high school, the American dream. Eventually throughout the movie Ben goes off seeking his own career of being a comic book artist. The one thing that I really enjoyed about this movie was the fact that it introduced me into tinikling dancing and I was able to see it for the first time. Next, another form of media that dancing is being portrayed is in music videos. Everyone watches television, but the present generation of teens watches such television shows such as MTV, BET and CMC. These music channels have grasped the attention of the audience and combining music with dance. Usually, dancers are nothing important unless they’re the main singer that’s performing. However, some choreographers will watch the dance over and over comparing the dance to another music video. From there choreographers can take a dance add something to it and pull some of the main components from the dance and call it “theirs.” Being a choreographer should be about originality having your own ideas and taking ideas from other people that dance and incorporate them into a dance thus calling it a Fusion.


Pop culture can definitely have an impact on every generation and in our lives. Pop culture is seen daily thru various types of media. Learning how one can combine two cultures together is amazing. Filipinos will continue to be well known performers and dancers till this day and till the future.