Identity - Billy Elliot/Unreliable Memoirs

Topics: Dance Pages: 3 (846 words) Published: February 24, 2008
Identity is an important aspect for any individual, as it separates one from another. The concept of identity can refer to physical appearance such as gender, nationality, age and also include psychological aspects such as an individual's dreams, beliefs, religion, personality and many more. The texts Unreliable Memoirs and Billy Elliot both thoroughly explores the idea of identity and shows how identity can be shaped, changed and refined through life experiences and social interaction.

In Billy Elliot, dancing makes up a major part of Billy's identity as it is not only a means of expressing himself but also a symbol of liberation and freedom. Through dance, Billy creates his own identity and breaks out of the expectations of his family and community, such as the family tradition of being a miner. Billy emotionally expresses himself through dancing such as in the scene "Dance of Defiance" where he displays his talent and passion through an expressive dance routine. Music is used cleverly to compliment Billy in his quest to become an accomplished dancer. The song "Cosmic Dancer" is used to introduce Billy, and we can see that Billy is enjoying himself in the first scene because of the facial expressions and gestures he used which shows that he has a carefree personality. The music also highlights Billy's moods, such as anger, frustration and happiness. The music links closely with dancing and whenever he returns to his family or social life, the music stops which emphasizes the problems in his everyday life. Dancing and music is closely related in this movie and the character Billy can be seen to be heavily influenced by these two ideas. It is through music and dance that Billy's identity as an individual in a closed mining society can be clearly recognized.

Billy, as a boy, is faced heavily by gender expectation from his community & his family. His family is fairly male dominated as sis mother died when he was younger leading to Billy being more mature...
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