Verdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.39 (28 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Writer/Director: Alvin Yapan

Cast: Jean Garcia, Paulo Avelino, Rocco Nacino

Synopsis: Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (The Dance of Two Left Feet) tells the story of Marlon (Paulo Avelino) who is enamored by Karen (Jean Garcia), his literature professor. He follows her after class and discovers that she moonlights as a dance teacher and choreographer. To impress her, he asks Dennis (Rocco Nacino), his classmate and Karen’s assistant in the dance studio, to teach him the dances that Karen teaches in her classes before actually enrolling. A unique love triangle, one wherein the point is to share love and not to exclusively own love, ensues. (From Oggs Cruz’s review)

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0        Tito Genova Valiente (Business Mirror)

“Yapan embraces the strength of subtlety; he feasts on the eternity of the ellipses. This time, this visual banquet is in the actors and their characterizations.” (Read full review)

5.0        Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“To begin to describe the plot is to simplify it. On the surface, it registers as much as the next film wanting to tell what it knows about sexual awakening and sexual incipience. Here, however, God is in the details: one must listen to the readings – and promptings, if one is inclined – of suggestive and transgressive poetry on the soundtrack as well as to the meaningful gestures between characters. A line of verse may be as significant as the import of a gaze.” (Read full review)

5.0        Sampaloc Toc

“Alvin Yapan did an excellent job of weaving the story together with the textiles of feminist poetry, indigenous epic and emotion. The cinematography, by Alvin Viola, was also masterfully done just as he did in Lalake sa Parola and Lihim ni Antonio.” (Read full review)

5.0        Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“The first local film to successfully combine dance and poetry, it’s a rare love triangle story with gay overtones that is beautifully understated and handled with much subtlety… This is an engaging and compelling piece of local cinema that should not be missed.” (Read full review)

5.0        Ria Limjap (Spot.ph)

“In truth I was expecting a big ménage a trios in the end, but instead they dance. Jean Garcia, who apparently only took a year of ballet as a girl, plays the dance teacher perfectly, equally sensual and disciplined.”  (Read full review)

5.0        The Rikki Project

“Kudos to the magnificent plot, the flawless progression, the director, the music, the cinematography, the dance, and of course the actors. A relatively cheap production YET already a stunningly beautiful Filipino Classic.” (Read full review)

5.0        Scud in Real Life

“Yapan does not end with a happily ever after which obliterate the gem of scenes that came before. He does not cop out. He ends his film with a shot of a painted face and a tear. Was that the face and the tears of gratitude? of sudden realization? of sadness? That last image alone warrants a post-viewing discussion. And that’s what I like about Yapan’s film. It invites you to think. It challenges you to think.” (Read full review)

5.0        Nel Costales (Sine Patrol)

“Third time’s the charm for Yapan. He has finally learned how to transpose his literary musings into chunks of engaging film language.” (Read full review)

5.0        Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa is a rare breed of pink flick. It offers a gratifying viewing experience because, despite its muted gay-themed sensibility, its metaphor-heavy narrative cadences are lusciously paced by the evocative power of women’s poetry, as well as its lead actors’ thoughtful portrayals.” (Read full review)

5.0        Nicol Latayan (Back to the Frying Pan)

“I commend how the film translates the intricate and delicate choreography through the cinematography. It was delightfully captured on screen. The editing is passable with some brilliant moments and some that could have been better. The music is a vital component in this film, and it finds its rhythm together with the rest of the film.” (Read full review)

5.0        The Toss Coin Paradox

Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa is truly one of the most beautiful films I have ever watched.” (Read full review)

4.5        Carl Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“The movie was an aural and visual eye candy.   It was beautifully lensed, and perfectly edited.” (Read full review)

4.5        Mental Clutter

“The whole film is a poem and a feast for the senses, but one must pay absolute attention to the emotions and concepts emphasized in Sayaw. It is both entertaining and thought-provoking; a masterpiece that only Mr. Yapan can create with such ferocity and gentleness at the same time.” (Read full review)

4.0        Rolando Tolentino (Pinoy Weekly)

“Mahalagang interbensyon ang pelikula ni Yapan dahil may inaalok itong bago, at mula rito, maari pang pagyamanin ang potensyalidad ng literary mode.” (Read full review)

4.0        Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“The feeling you get after watching it is the same one you get after reading a good poem. You remember the cadence, the breaths, the pauses, the silences. You remember the sound of your soul stirring, sighing of satisfaction.” (Read full review)

4.0        Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“Its greatest trick lies in its ability to hold back the answers, prodding audiences to fill in the blanks. It gives them the space to explore their own interpretation of the ideas being presented. There are movies that preach, wanting nothing more than to be instructional. The genius of this movie is that it asks its audience to dance.” (Read full review)

4.0        Rob San Miguel (The Chair)

“Kakaiba ang Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, malalim ngunit hindi nagmamayabang.  Para itong pelikulang kabilang sa dekada 70. Bukod sa lahat, may tiwala sa mga manonood. Sinasaad ng pelikula, tulad ng isang simple subalit makapangyarihang tula, na ikaw na manonood ay kailangan lamang buksan ang mga mata, puso at bigyan ang sarili ng pagkakataon na makadama.” (Read full review)

4.0        Wilfred Cabrera (Me Likes Art)

“The film is as thought-provoking as it is visually entertaining. A sword. A tear down the cheek. It closes with an epic, with two male bodies intertwined, raising questions, and what bliss it is to experience such freedom. Like poetry and dance, Sayaw frees itself from expectations, from the prerequisites of society, and, in turn, provides liberty to those enlightened.” (Read full review)

4.0        Pelikula Tumblr

Sayaw is a technically proficient film. The scenes are edited tightly and the dance sequences, choreographed by Eli Jacinto, are nicely shot, which is almost an achievement itself. The film resolves to be a ravishing waltz into the burning fires of desire; you can actually feel the anguish that each of the leads feel. Ultimately, Sayaw is a cultural triumph, highlighting the achievements of Filipinos in the poetry, architecture, and dance.” (Read full review)

4.0        Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“I applaud the filmmakers for the nonlinear storyline and interweave of poetry, dance, romance, and for the amount of restraint shown. What is NOT shown is intriguing, which invites open interpretation.” (Read full review)

4.0        Manuel Pangaruy (IndioCine)

“Para sa akin, hindi na mahalaga kung ano ang kinahinatnan ng tatlong ‘mananayaw’. Ang mahalaga ay naiintindihan na nila ang mga tula sa paraang sila lang ang nakakaalam. Kung bibigyang tuldok ang kanilang kinahantungan, para mo na ring ipinabasa at ipinaintindi ang tula sa iba. Hindi mo na binigyan ang sarili ng kakayanang mag-interpret nito at magkaroon ng sariling bersyon ng paglaya.” (Read full review)

4.0         Ihcahieh

“This is a good film that has to be seen through different levels of analysis just like one would in giving an interpretation of poetry. It is something to be appreciated not through the way the plot unfolds or how gripping the story is, but rather through the way that the director has chosen to present his narrative as some form of beautiful art.” (Read full review)

3.5         Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“The film dodges any threat of being pointlessly academic by making most of the elements that are exclusive to cinema, particularly cinematography and editing. Its first ten minutes is a masterful sequence that marries dance, dialogue, music and verse.” (Read full review)

2.5          Taking a Break

“I feel as if the movie wants to say something profound, but got so caught up with the juxtaposition of word poetry and dance poetry that it forgot the story it wanted to tell. We lose our handle on our persona when our anchor in our male lead gets passed on to the older woman in a few sequences, before it is passed on to the pining guy–before it decides that it needs a more omniscient point-of-view. So that in the end, we get a confused story about the confusion of two guys and their confused feelings for each other and their teacher.” (Read full review)

Capsules:

4.5        Fidel Medel (Pixelated Popcorn)

“Taking inspiration from feminist poetry, Alvin Yapan (the critically acclaimed director of Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe) combines dance and literature to tell a story of love and longing. I haven’t seen any other Filipino film this year that is as well written and well crafted.”

4.5        Mayk Juat (Cinephiles)

“Great direction, script , and cinematography. Sana lang lumambot nang konti ang katawan.”

4.0        Lyndon Maburaot (Cinephiles)

“The best part of the film was the first 15 minutes or so, where editing helped the script set up the story. I wish, it carried on throughout the rest of the film because it felt inconsistent.”

4.0        Nico Quejano (Cinephiles)

“I want to see this again. Masiyado ako na mesmerize sa tula, na may lapat ng kanta, na may sayaw. Ang galing mag-capture ni Alvin Yapan ng sayaw, kahit mediyo mahirap panuorin yung mga sayaw.”