Strictly Ballroom

Topics: Dance, Dance music, History of dance Pages: 2 (636 words) Published: December 1, 2013
Belonging is a dynamic concept that is of inherent nature for all humans to make connections with people, places, groups and communities. The complexity of belonging is explored in Baz Lurhmann’s film Strictly Ballroom through the need to conform in order to belong and how an individual can affect ones sense of belonging. This is evident with the main characters of the film, Scott Hastings and Fran. The film is set in the arcane world of ballroom dancing, which only emphasizes the strain between individuality and strict conformity, which together pose as barriers to belonging. Strictly Ballroom starts with the silhouettes of the dancers accompanied by Blue Danube, subsidizing the gaudy yet glamorous world in which they belong to. The extravagant costumes worn by the dancers, define how the formulated steps of the samba, further portray a pretentious world of prestige. The close up shot of dance mentor Lez Kendall when talking about Scott, who “resorted to his own flashy crowd pleasing steps” in mockumentary style informs the audience that in order to belong to this world of ballroom dancing, strict conformity to the rigid steps is required. However it is through Scott’s reaction “Maybe I’m sick of dancing someone else’s steps all the time” that foreshadows his struggle between his individuality and the forced conformity of the dance culture and Barry Fife. Scott’s rebellion is shown when he partners up with ‘ugly duckling’ Fran for them to dance their own non-federation steps, portraying how the influence of others has an effect on an individual’s sense of belonging. Scott faces social rejection by Liz after the competition failure, partnered with Shirley’s escalating sense of failure; however this does not stop Scott from continuing to reidentify his sense of belonging. The tracking shot of Scott as he dances in and around the spot light gives insight into his struggle in rebelling against the limitations that are forced upon him when he is trying to embrace...
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