explores the intersection and divergences between feminist and gay concerns in the third world context, as it features the poetry of the country’s top feminist poets, namely, Rebecca Anonuevo, Benilda Santos, Merlinda Bobis, Joi Barrios, Ruth Elynia Mabanglo and Ophelia Dimalanta (in memoriam).
When Marlon, a college student, stalks Karen, his literature professor, he finds out that she moonlights as a choreographer and dance teacher in a dance studio. Frustrated over his performance in her literature class, he plans to impress her instead by learning to poeticize his body movements and enroll in her dance class. He hires a male tutor to teach him the basics of dancing. As Dennis, his tutor, teaches him how his body should move, Marlon begins to understand the intersections between the art of poetry and dance. This opens up his world to new insights about the life of Karen as a single woman who chose to live the life of an artist in a third world setting.
Marlon begins to understand how the poems being discussed by Karen in class are testaments to her choice to stand by her art. She chose to remain single, instead of marrying herself off into luxury. Her real passion in life is her dance. But in order to support herself and sustain her art, she teaches literature at Marlon’s school. She even choreographs for community events, debuts, weddings, and other secular events that involve dance.
Karen eventually finds out, through Dennis, that Marlon only enrolled in her class to be near her. She confronts Marlon about this and wishes that his interest for dance would survive his infatuation for her. Marlon feels betrayed over Dennis telling Karen. But it is also this sense of betrayal that tells him that he has already become close to Dennis, whom he now considers a friend. Up until then, Marlon and Dennis have become inseparable as they both tackled the complexities of poetry and dance. They would even discuss during their dance tutorials how to make sense of the poems assigned by Karen for class.
Sensing the coldness between the two, Karen set them up to help her train a group of dancers for a cotillion dance. Eventually, Karen trains both Marlon and Dennis to star in her dance adaptation of the epic Humadapnon, when she bags a grant. Marlon will play the lead role of Humadapnon, who becomes trapped in a cave full of women. Dennis’ character now has to rescue Marlon from the women, as he plays the role of Sunmasakay, the male incarnation of the goddess Nagmalitong Yawa.
On the eve of their performance, in a drunken conversation, Marlon confronts Karen how he could not understand her poetry. Karen, in response, assures Marlon that he does understand her poetry. His mind is just unwilling to, unlike his body which already understands. Karen invites Marlon to dance with her, but in the middle of her dance, she passes him onto Dennis. Their drunken dance culminates with Marlon and Dennis taking on the roles of Humadapnon and Sunmasakay on stage.
PAULO AVELINO – Marlon
ROCCO NACINO – Dennis
JEAN GARCIA – Karen
Director ALVIN B. YAPAN
Executive Producer ALEMBERG ANG
Screenplay ALVIN YAPAN
Cinematographer ARVIN VIOLA
Production Designer APED SANTOS
Film Editor MAI DIONISIO
Music JEMA PAMINTUAN and CHRISTINE MUYCO
Sound ARNOLD REODICA
Choreography ELI JACINTO
- Review: ‘The Dance of Two Left Feet’
- Best Sound and Aural Orchestration, Young Critics Circle, Manila 2012
- Best Picture, Director, Story, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Music, Gawad Pasado, Manila
- Best Actress, Supporting Actor, Nominated Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Story, Actor, Sound, Musical Score, Original Song, Golden Screen Award, Manila 2012
- Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Music, Gawad Urian, Manila 2012
- Best in Cinematography and Musical Score, New Breed Category, Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, July 2011
- Bronze Prize, International Film, 28 Festival de Cine de Bogota, 2011