Billy Elliot

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(portrayal of gender and masculinity)

This essay examines the visual representations of working-class masculinity portrayed in Stephen Daldry‟s stage musical adaptation of the film Billy Elliot (2000). After a brief discussion of the portrayal of the male ballet dancer in the dancing scene since the 1990s and the inherent voyeuristic inclinations of contemporary audiences, the analysis will focus on five aspects of male presence in Billy Elliot the Musical (2005). The dynamics of working-class masculinity will be contextualised within the framework of the family, the older female, the community, the self and the act of dancing itself. These aspects will be referenced using reviews of the musical version of the work and articles written on the film of Billy Elliot. However, have today‟s audiences conditioned their gendered gaze to allow for the male ballet dancer to dominate the contemporary stage? Or do we still control our social perceptions and cultural associations with out-of-date images of the past? Have popular perceptions about the male ballet dancer changed? Is there a birth of a new male dancer phenomenon?

However, have today‟s audiences conditioned their gendered gaze to allow for the male ballet dancer to dominate the contemporary stage? Or do we still control our social perceptions and cultural associations with out-of-date images of the past? Have popular perceptions about the male ballet dancer changed? Is there a birth of a new male dancer phenomenon?Even if nineteenth-century ballet became „so concerned with the display of female bodies that male characters became almost an impossibility. The film Billy elliot changing the popular assumptions that ballet as a masculine activity is a suspect phenomenon, this proves the point that male ballet is a much more complex activity than just that.

Popular perceptions and attitudes like „real boys don‟t go to dance classes‟,are beginning to disappear. More boys are now dancing and through their...
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