I wanna dance with somebody: Madge & her excellent new adventure


If there’s one performance Art that really took a hit during this ongoing pandemic, I would say it’s Dance. Singing & Theater made the transition to online rather easily; and while both were diminished in that format, they somehow satisfied most of the audience that were pining for them. With Dance, most would immediately assume that if it’s not a live performance, how can you appreciate the gravity-defying, the coordination and synchronized movements, the ensemble timing & perfection - all those things that astound us when watching a live Dance performance.

Madge Reyes, the mastermind behind the upcoming Fifth Wall Fest, is out to change that perception. While acknowledging that live performing is still very special, her online Filmfest is out to prove that there’s still Dance ‘magic’ to enjoy when we’re exposed to the right films, and the imagination & innovation of their directors. It’s the first international film festival dedicated to Dance, and with the support of Steps Dance Studio and The Japan Foundation Manila, the well-curated selection of films and webinar activities, happening from October 7th to the 11th, is out to make believers out of all of us.

Cinderella Games (UK).

And you don’t have to be a hardcore Dance enthusiast to enjoy the offerings of the five days. While it is a local hub for Dance on camera and Dance filmmaking, it promises to show how Music, Fashion, Design, & Cinema can be fused with Movement & Motion to produce exceptional images, footage, and synergies. It will be a digital platform for the visibility, education, and discussion of cinedance.

It’s called the Fifth Wall because that’s the term used to describe the imaginary barrier that guests pass as they exit a venue after a cultural experience, and return to their everyday lives. The intent then will be a breaking of that wall, so in your home and as part of your everyday life, one can now enjoy the Art of Dance. It’s loftier aim is to bridge the gap between local and international creative communities - to encourage interaction between artists and enthusiasts

Madge Reyes, choreographer, filmmaker and dancer - the guiding light of Fifth Wall Festival.

Madge Reyes, our advocate of motion beyond the stage, recently completed her research fellowship for Dance Film in New York with the Asian Cultural Council. She left for Manhattan late last year and flew back to Manila in the earliest days of March, right before we went into Community Quarantine lockdown. This Filmfest is her pet project finally coming to fruition - a vehicle to enhance the local arts and culture scene in spite of the pandemic. It aims to bring performances outside of the traditional theater venue, and depict the ephemeral nature of movement in any setting.

Among the highlights of the festival are the following films:
Elementos, directed by Madge Reyes (Philippines); a collaboration with Steps Dance Studio and Tarzeer Pictures
Cinderella Games, directed by Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple (United Kingdom), part of World Ballet Day collection.
Mujer Vacio, directed by Berta Ivanow & Max Larruy (Spain), and
AKA, directed by Dorothée Murail (France), an Official selection for Fifth Wall Fest Competition 2020.

A still from the film Elementos (Philippines)

And they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Head to fifthwallfest.com for details and the full schedule of activities. The trailer you’ll find at the site is proof positive of the world of Possibility that beckons to anyone ready to be open-minded about Madge’s Excellent New Adventure.