Strictly Ballroom Essay

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Teaching the prescribed text

· Explanation on background information (context, purpose and audience)

Context The screenplay of Strictly Ballroom was written by Baz Luhrmann and Andrew Bovell. The film was directed by Baz Luhrmann, and was well received internationally when it was released in 1992. Since Strictly Ballroom, Baz Luhrmann has directed two other internationally successful films—Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge—and, at time of print, was directing Australia. He is known for his artistic and innovative cinematic styles which blend film techniques from Hollywood musicals and dance films with more traditional techniques.

· Explanation of key terms (see above)
· Analysis of how the text relates to belonging

Rebellion, exclusion and true ‘belonging’
The film opens at the Waratah Championships for ballroom dancing where Scott Hastings dares to dance his own steps, dazzling the audience with his samba routine. Those who value tradition—mainly his mother, his dance coach Les Kendall, and Barry Fife—abhor his behaviour. They are united in their opposition to Scott’s rebellion and prevent him from exploring his individuality, because the traditional world of ballroom dancing gives them a sense of belonging, and they do not wish for this to change. Changing the established order is difficult, because people in power make the rules and are responsible for ensuring they are followed. Therefore when Scott dances his own steps he is disqualified and prevented from participating in the competition. He is excluded from the group and his sense of belonging is devastated.

· Students answer the question: How do you relate your prescribed text to belonging? · Explanation of Text structure

Text structure
The film can be divided into four parts.
Part 1
The traditional values of the ballroom dancing world are established though the opening scene at the Waratah Championships for ballroom dancing where Scott Hastings dances his own steps during the samba....
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