Belonging - Strictly Ballroom

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Belonging is the relationship between an individual and his society, idealistically of one being in harmony with their surrounding peers and therefore becoming accepted no matter what attributes they possess. Belonging is an intrinsic need, it is a complex and variable state and in the end brings some form of happiness to an individual. The film, “Strictly Ballroom”, produced by Baz Luhrman, focuses upon the individual “Scott” who possesses the skills to win but defies the rules of the ballroom world by adding unauthorised steps and by challenging the status quo. Similarly, The short story, “A Straight Bat”, by Roger Holt, revolves around the individual Timothy whose individuality is suppressed by his fathers’ expectations. The song, “Where we belong”, by Steven Curtis Chapman, explores whether individuals are deemed worthy to belong. Hence, these texts are important in broadening our understanding of the negatives and positives of belonging and not belonging. The film, “Strictly Ballroom”, demonstrates the difficulty in expressing one’s individuality because of the rules and regulations enforced by cultures and governing bodies. It begins with opening scene presenting a silhouette of the ballroom world, which is a metaphor used to set the criteria of belonging. The synchronisation of each dance partner shows the forceful conformist nature to belong. The use of high angle shots of Scott and Fran dancing on the roof of the studio portrays their isolation and alienation from the rest of the ‘dance world’, expressing the effort they must undertake to express their individuality. The restrictiveness of this world is highlighted by the antagonist Barry Fife. His dictorial nature is presented in the close up of his mouth in which he quotes, “You can dance any steps you like, but that doesn’t mean you’ll win”. This image, elaborates his influential power of his position as he proposes that no new dance styles can be performed. This creates a barrier to belong along-side...
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