The Imaginarium: Immersing You in Art, Absurdity, and Beauty
Some people say that as your age adds up, your imagination slowly withers away. We get caught up with life, with work, with everything else in-between, that we stop being creative and our imagination gets shoved into a box and stored in the corner, left to collect dust through the years. When we were young, it was so easy to imagine things — scenarios, stories, and even friends — but when you’re slapped with too much reality, sometimes, you end up focusing on what’s in the present and forget to tap the side in which we see beauty in nothingness.
The Imaginarium: A Multi-Arts Festival of the Absurd is the brainchild of a budding theater group called The Sandbox Collective. Together with PETA Theater Center, they gathered different artists to create a playground where the audience is free to tap their creative side through various exposition of artistic works — from dance to music to theater and even food. For four days, they graced PETA Theater Center with overflowing creative juices and treated their audience for a ride through the absurd, giving them a healthy dose of artistry and inspiration.
Scene from Dani Girl
From October 28-31, artists gathered to watch, participate, and showcase their talents. For twelve hours everyday, PETA Theater overflowed with people who yearned for an escape from the world through art. One of the most anticipated performances during the festival was the re-run of the uplifting musical, Dani Girl. It was Sandbox Collective’s very own adaptation of the off-Broadway musical. Dani Girl is a story of a 9-year-old kid suffering from leukemia and who, through her imagination, was able to find ways to endure her long days at the hospital. With the help of her guardian angel, Raph, and her friend, Marty, she went through different adventures in hopes to find the answer to the question, “Why is Cancer”. During the four runs on the festival, Dani Girl definitely proved why it is such a talked about play and why it demands to be repeated over and over again.
God and Dani
Aside from theater plays and readings, various indie films were also screened during the Imaginarium festival. #Y, an entry during the last Cinemalaya Festival, was also well-received by the audience. Together with other films like Ang Nawawala and Letters to the Future among many others, these movies definitely added more color to the festival, opening its doors not only to theater enthusiasts but also to film fanatics.
One of the concessionaire’s from the Bazaar of the Bizarre — 8Cuts Burger Blends
Nobody says no to free booze!
If you love food, Imaginarium MNL also had The Trailblazers during their 2nd day, which features chefs and culinary geniuses, for a culinary showdown. Celebrated chefs like Mikko Reyes from The Hungry Hound, Gab Bustos of The Girl and the Bull, Him Uy De Baron of Nomama, and celebrity blogger Erwan Heussaff of Niner Ichi Nana are some of the participants during the event.
Aside from the showdown, they also had concessionaire’s throughout out the four-day festivities to offer refreshments and food to the festival goers. 8Cuts, Fruit Magic, Take Roots, and EDSA Beverage Design Group are present and all ready to serve. Of course, a festival would not be complete without booze. Circuit Magazine offered unlimited mixed drinks during their happy hours, giving away free cocktails to fans and actors alike.
Details Ink at Bazaar of the Bizarre
Apart from food concessionaires, they also had other sellers at the Bazaar of the Bizarre. Details Ink and Apothecary were present among many others during the event, offering their crafts to festival goers. Details Ink’s notebooks were definitely note worthy, while Take Root stands out from the rest with their veggie and healthy selection of chips and desserts.
Project Mayhem’s Over my Dead Body
Movement was also a huge part of the festival, with various performances that focused on dance. They invited the SEOP Dance Company all the way from Korea to perform. Local acts like Daloy Dance Company were also present to share their talent to the audience. Other performances like that of Project Mayhem also used movements to convey their message. Using video projections, body movements, and short exchange of dialogues, Project Mayhem brought the audience to another level of their imagination, with hypnotic music and a different way of using videos.
Shing! Shing! Taberoarrr! belting out some out of this world beki metal
Of course, when we talk about arts, we also have to tap into music. Various artists were present during the 4-day event, with acts ranging from beki metal of Shing! Shing! Taberoarrr! to Kai Honasan’s Contemporary Song Cycle to Imaginarium’s Gala featuring Pedicab among many other bands — surely, there would be something for you to enjoy in the vast selection of artists who performed.
All in all, The Imaginarium was definitely a festival worth going to. It was more than refreshing to indulge in the arts, and for a moment, find peace and drowning through imagination, beauty and absurdity. Kudos to The Sandbox Collective, PETA Theater Center, and to everyone who took part of the festival. Congratulations and see you next year!