Strictly Ballroom - Perspectives on Belonging

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Certain texts raise certain perspectives about belonging, whether it be belonging to particular groups through conformity to rules, or belong to a place where you find inspiration to express your own sense of individuality. The film Strictly Ballroom, directed by Baz Luhrmann portrays many different perspectives in regards to belonging. The opening scenes of Strictly Ballroom explore aspects of not belonging and non-acceptance. To belong to the world of ballroom dancing means sacrificing self-expression and individual identity. Scott Hastings represents the individual who repels against the group as it threatens to consume him. From this we understand that some people may have to sacrifice their own true identity to belong to a certain group. Although rebelling from that same group can lead to a heightened scene of true identity and result in belonging to your own group, in this case, individual dance steps. The purpose of Baz Luhrmann’s film Strictly Ballroom, is to explore the ways individuals find their own way of expressing themselves so that they can find their own identity. Challenging the status quo and breaking free of rigid codes and conventions are explored. There is a strong sense that the film’s belonging to Australians and our culture. The plot makes use of well-known cultural cues and narrative structures to give the audience a sense of place and belonging in the story. The film plays with stereotypes, Australian images and landscapes, mixes genres and fairy-tale narrative structures. Throughout the opening scenes of Strictly Ballroom, belonging is clearly presented within the Ballroom Dancing Community. Although, Luhrmann positions us to understand that this sense of belonging is not a positive sense, but rather a negative sense of belonging. The Ballroom Dancing Community all belong together as they conform to a strict set of rules and regulations which revolve around their key priority of winning. These rules and regulations strictly forbid any...
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