National Artist for Dance (1988)
(June 29, 1929 – August 4, 1999)
Lucrecia Reyes-Urtula, choreographer, dance educator and researcher, spent almost four decades in the discovery and study of Philippine folk and ethnic dances. She applied her findings to project a new example of an ethnic dance culture that goes beyond simple preservation and into creative growth. Over a period of thirty years, she had choreographed suites of mountain dances, Spanish-influenced dances, Muslim pageants and festivals, regional variations and dances of the countryside for the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company of which she was the dance director. These dances have all earned critical acclaim and rave reviews from audiences in their world tours in Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
Among the widely acclaimed dances she had staged were the following: Singkil, a Bayanihan signature number based on a Maranao epic poem; Vinta, a dance honoring Filipino sailing prowess; Tagabili, a tale of tribal conflict; Pagdiwata, a four-day harvest festival condensed into a six-minute breath-taking spectacle; Salidsid, a mountain wedding dance ; Idaw, Banga and Aires de Verbena.