Strictly Ballroom

Topics: Ballroom dance, Partner dance, Dance Pages: 4 (1300 words) Published: January 30, 2013
The sequence depends on sudden and unexpected appearances for its effect. When Liz pushes through the doors, screaming, the shot cuts suddenly to her in the doorway and the music stops suddenly. Fran's doorway slam also happens very suddenly, and the film cuts to Ken's entrance to the studio even before Pam's car has stopped rolling. The rolling car itself is non-realistic and by using this technique any sympathy we might have otherwise have felt for Pam is gone. This accident is just another piece of slapstick.

The colour patterning continues - i.e. Shirley's leotard and leggings are in mottled purple, Ken's in designer label white and Les in his light blue, Liz in a canary yellow. It can be argued that the use of such a colour - ie. 'canary' yellow implies a beautiful attractive bird but as soon as Liz opens her mouth using that high-pitched voice, coupled with the banshee like wailing, any such ideas are dispelled -no canary song coming from her. There is therefore some irony in this description. Note also the exaggerated language used by the characters in this scene and is as exaggerated as their actions. Les, in his typically overdone and cliché riddled style, tells Scott to 'beg forgiveness' of that 'little girl' and tells Scott - "you've got a light in you boy - let it shine!'. Is this another example of irony?

For the first time in this section we see a use of language that is typical of the film : Shirley and Les respond to Liz's scream by saying 'Oh my god!' in unison. Dialogue in unison is a common technique in stage comedy, but it is unusual to find it in a film. It is another example of a non-realistic, highly theatrical technique.

The studio is empty except for Scott. Suddenly he breaks into a dance solo which becomes wilder and more intense. He remembers Les' criticism of his dancing - we hear Les words repeated in a voice-over - but he has rejected them when he breaks into this solo 'dance of dark and passionate beauty'. The dance ends...
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