Strictly Ballroom

Good Essays
A sense of belonging is a critical component of one’s being. One person’s sense and perception of belonging is not that of another. With perceptions regularly changing over time, it is this complexity of variation and the contradictory nature of belonging that is illustrated and explored though Baz Luhrmann’s film ‘Strictly Ballroom’. A depiction is created throughout the film, with Luhrmann using the main character and protagonist Scott Hastings and his individuality conflicting with the need to conform within the world of ballroom dancing and a juxtaposition of two very different cultures of which are both are conveyed to the viewers on numerous accounts in the film.
In Strictly Ballroom individuality and freedom is constrained by a need to conform to the glamorised and fake world of ballroom dancing. This underpins Baz Luhrmann’s film from start to end with Scott Hastings desire to dance his own steps. This is first seen during the opening scene where Scott is dancing in the Waratah state Championship with dance partner Liz Holt where he breaks out into performing his own moves which are noticeably different to the typical dance steps of a ballroom routine. Les Kendall, who is Scott’s dancing coach, refers to his steps as ‘his own flashy crowd pleasing steps’. The use of ‘own’ in this dialogue demonstrates that Scott’s moves aren’t accepted in the ballroom dancing world. Luhrmann’s use of costuming in this scene is a representation of the glittery and glamorised ballroom world. The bright yellow material with lots of gold sequins suggests that the couple’s performance was ‘golden’, however the transition from a tracking camera movement to close ups and slow motion action shots, emphasises Scott’s individual talent.
Scott’s individuality isolates him not only from the ballroom dancing world but his family too. Scott’s mum, Shirley Hastings’s who is living vicariously though Scott, creates a central notion of him not fitting into the embellished ballroom

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