Belonging In A Strictly Ballroom World

1314 words - 6 pages

Baz Lurhmans Film ‘Strictly Ballroom’ deals with issues of cultural and personal belonging. Strictly Ballroom is set in suburban Australia, in the harsh and competitive world of ballroom dancing. Scott Hastings is one of the best dancers who is targeted for a number of championships until he gives up the Dance federation’s steps in favour of his own. Scott must conquer his fear of failure and ridicule as well as possible rejection. The main characters are Fran & Scott. Through a range of experiences, they make a connection through dance which enables them to gain a sense of enhanced identity & a sense of Belonging. Similarly in the South Park episode “Here Comes the Neighbourhood,” the main ...view middle of the document...

She uses a Spanish proverb and calls Scott ‘a gutless wonder’ which introduces the audience to the issues of multiculturalism in Australia. She stands in the spotlight with her back to Scott. It is her passion and courage that convinces Scott to dance with her. This image shows that through courage and passion, Scott is able to break free from the strict world of ballroom dancing. Close up shot of Scott & Fran’s feet focuses on the mistakes Fran makes, but also her ability to learn quickly. An Image of her feet wiggling in her gold sandals shows the audience her pleasure when Scott congratulates her. From the initial awkwardness between Fran and Scott, the two characters begin to make a connection based on dance, a passion to which they both share a sense of belonging. There is a sense of mutual acceptance here which enhances their sense of belonging.

The most sympathetic scene was the scene in which Scott learns the “Paso Doble”. Scott goes to Fran’s house to tell her that he wants to dance with her but Fran reminds him, “We won’t win”. In this scene we learn what is important to Scott “I just want to dance our own steps”. This moment is full of romantic tension. All of a sudden Fran’s father Rico angrily pushes Scott, fearful for his daughter. Rico challenges Scott & his daughter to dance the Paso Doble. Scott is vain enough to attempt to relate to him by boasting he can the Paso Doble; however he is met with laughter by the group of migrants who have gathered at Rico’s house. Attention must be paid by the way the Paso Doble is performed by Fran’s father. It highlights Scott’s lack of knowledge of the steps and shows him a position of not belonging. Scott finds this difficult to accept but he is willing to learn, to extend his parameters of cultural belonging.

It is passionate and sincere. Heart, passion, truth are all released in his version of the dance. Ya Ya Fran’s grandmother teaches Scott how to dance the Paso Doble the right way. She explains to him to listen to the rhythm and beats on his chest. The camera techniques include short quick shots/feet shots/clapping hands and climax of the scene and music. As Rico thaws towards Scott he puts on a gold matador jacket and Scott is embraced by Fran’s relatives. Scott has gained not only an improved understanding of the Paso Doble but also an enriched sense of personal and cultural belonging.
This showed Scott that in order to dance the ‘Paso Doble’ he must dance from his heart and really feel the rhythm. Scott is absolutely elated at the way he has been welcomed into Fran’s family. Most importantly this scene showed us the struggle and different stages Fran and Scott went through in order to be able to express...

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