Music, Dance & Arts
A remarkable number of painters, dancers, musicians, playwrights, poets, and artists of all stripes populate Guam's vibrant cultural scene.
Our island has long been home to thriving and innovative artistic communities, but local art in Guam has become more visible lately thanks to increased organization, institutional support, and above all, the dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of its artistic leaders.
Chamorro music can be heard at dance events and festivals across the island, or tune in to the radio in your rental car or hotel room for channels featuring traditional tunes just about any time. The night market in Chamorro village is another great place to hear the lively rhythms of this proud island art form.
Although it would be impossible to describe all of Chamorro music's incredible variations, one notable form is chanting, sometimes performed call-and-response style and often accompanying traditional dances. With the use of slapping and stomping, performers use their bodies as percussive instruments.
Music is one of the central tenets of Chamorro identity and its fluidity has allowed it to remain so. Chamorro music has undergone several distinct transformations, including after the pre-contact era during Spanish rule, during World War II and again in the post-War activist era, as well as in the 1980s when Guam's dance scene underwent a major revival period.
Venerable dance groups such as the collective Pa’a Taotao Tano’ and the folk dance team Inetnon Gef Pa’go enliven Guam's movement arts scene. Dancers on the island can be seen jumping, shouting, and wielding long tunas sticks in the Bailan Uritao (Young Man's Dance) and whirling in sadi's, thus and coconut leaf skirts in the Bailan Lina 'la' (Dance of Life).
Schoolchildren have a wealth of opportunities to get involved at a young age in Guam's dance culture. They are well prepared to continue the island's proud tradition of winning over audiences and judges in international performances and competitions. Don't miss the opportunity to see Guam's talented dancers perform on their home island.
Public art at Guam's bus stops and village murals inspires all who pass by, while institutional forums such as the Isla Center for the Arts at the University of Guam, the Guam Gallery of Arts at the Chamorro Village, and the Guam Council of the Arts and Humanities Gallery draw crowds with diverse exhibits to satisfy the most eclectic tastes.
More Art Forms
Storytellers, weavers, jewelrymakers, blacksmiths, and more: Guam's arts community is as colorful and active as the sea life teeming in our warm waters. We invite you to include our formal arts venues in your Guam vacation plans. And remember to welcome that spontaneous sense of discovery that just might drop you into the center of our arts scene when you least expect it!
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