4 Short Essays on Strictly Ballroom

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Scott makes a decision that will change the course of his dancing career. Explain how dialogue with others has influenced his decision.

The desire and decision to ‘dance his own steps’ at the ballroom dancing competitions first appears at the beginning of the play where Scott Hastings and Liz Holt get boxed into a corner of The Southern District Waratah Championship Hall. In this scene, the temptation of escaping the restricted rules of the ADF leads Scott to urge Liz Holt via the dialogue “Come on, Come on” to dance the unconventional steps of ballroom dancing. 3 days later after this incident, Scott and Liz are still arguing about this event and so through the dialogue it becomes apparent that Scott does not want to win the Pan Pacific Grand Prix but he wants to enjoy dancing and have free will to do whatever he wants to do, unlike Liz Holt who would rather win. Later in the text, Fran uses tempting and challenging phrases and sentences such as “you really are a gutless wonder!” and “a life lived in fear is a life half-lived” in the dialogue. These two important sentences influence Scott’s decision even further and indicate that Scott’s identity is changing. The final level of evolution for his decision occurs when Scott’s dad, Doug, tells the truth to his son about himself and his parent’ situation, and so in this final moments of the play Scott transforms to a truly confident young man whose decision for his future career is absolute and nothing can change it.

Words: 237
Time taken: 35 minutes
1) There are many characters in a text. How are the characters in your prescribed text developed and represented through dialogue?

Characters in Baz Luhrmann’s “Strictly Ballroom” theatre play are developed and represented through the many features of dialogue which consist of: type of language used, type of vocabulary used and type of grammar used. Scott Hastings is the leading actor in the dialogue who is developed as a rebellious young man. In the dialogue he had been represented as an informal individual and as an angry young man, who is tried of obeying the rules of the ADF and so therefore creates his own steps. The grammar further supports these two attitudes through exclamations, rhetorical questions and short sentences which indicates that the dialogue has a fast pace to itself. Other characters of importance include: Barry Fife, Shirley Hastings, Liz Holt, Fran and Doug Hastings. Barry Fife is the ADF president and so he is portrayed as a villain who uses an informal language along with loud and patronizing vocabulary to express himself throughout the dialogue in this manner. Furthermore, Barry Fife usually uses extended dialogue in the play and so this indicates the status of his decisions. Shirley Hastings is Scott’s mother as well as a caricature. Throughout the dialogue she is portrayed with lots of make-up and further exaggerated by her bright dress and false ‘happy’ smile. In her dialogue she usually uses informal language and represents an angry, selfish, overbearing and unhappy individual. Liz Holt is presented as a superficial glamorous ballroom dancer and as the original partner of Scott Hastings. Her character uses lots of colloquial language and she is very emotional and self-satisfied. In her dialogues, she mostly uses outbursts and short sentences which support the facts about her personality. Fran is a beginner dancer who has been represented as lightweight and unattractive person in the play. In her dialogues, she is informal and hesitant, as indicated by the exclamations. The extended dialogues in sentences and questions appear throughout her dialogues and so she is another key figure of the play. Finally, Doug Hastings is Scott’s dad and he is represented as an insignificant man who talks very few words but in fact can be seen as a great influence and support for Scott. In the dialogue, he uses informal language...
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