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IT WAS a relief and a joy for professional dancer Madge Reyes to finally be able to mount her annual dance film festival mostly in person after three years of doing it hybrid. “It really takes a village, and it’s finally happening,” she said.
Born in 2020, the Fifth Wall festival initially brought dance films, workshops, and talks to Filipino audiences through free online screenings with some in-person programs. Now, it is launching its 4th and biggest festival yet with more immersive, multisensory experiences.
“We’re definitely focusing on the performance aspect, which we didn’t get to do before. This year’s festival will have a little bit of everything — film, live performance, installations, and open dialogues,” Ms. Reyes, the festival’s founder and director, told BusinessWorld at a press launch on Sept. 20.
As the Philippines’ international platform for dance on camera, Fifth Wall aims to provide the medium of dance a “space for visibility and education, while simultaneously opening the dialogue for movement beyond the screen.”
This space comes to life at the La Fuerza Compound located on Chino Roces Ave. in Makati, where multiple units and warehouses within walking distance of each other serve as the stage for most of the festival’s events.
It’s the main hub of the festival because people can move across venues, according to Ms. Reyes. The screening and installation spaces within the compound are Archivo 1984, J Studio, Kino, and 1F Projects.
“We invite you to experience what we mean by ‘moving beyond the fifth wall.’ On paper, we say that the fifth wall is the imaginary barrier that we pass when we exit a venue after a cultural experience as we return to our everyday lives,” she explained.
Now fully able to illustrate that concept in practice, the festival’s movement transitioning to the 4th edition is “to connect dance and all kinds of art with everyday life.” It will run from Oct. 5 to 15.
The 11-day festival starts with a screening of the dance documentary Pina (2011) by Wim Wenders at SM Megamall’s IMAX Theater on Oct. 5. The film explores the profound depths of Pina Bausch’s visionary role as the pioneer of German dance theater, centering on an ethos of expressing life in movement.
Kino, the festival’s official cinema room, will be dedicated to the Black Box collection of foreign and local short films and prize winners of the Fifth Wall annual dance film competition. The collection will also be free to access on fifthwall.ph. Both in-person and online screenings run throughout the festival.
The immersive, multisensory show Bulalakaw, merging movement, visual art through floral design, and sound installation, will be at J Studio until Oct 12.
At Apotheka in Poblacion, the one venue outside the La Fuerza hub, various live performances will take place. This includes the Oct. 7 show Dance Dance Emoji by Jared Jonathan Luna, who interrogates the use of social media in the Philippine context based on TikTok dance tutorials with “emoji notations.”
For more information on the festival schedule, online screenings, and tickets to the performances from Oct. 5 to 15, visit fifthwall.ph or Fifth Wall’s pages on Facebook and Instagram. — Brontë H. Lacsamana