Strictly ballroom

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Belonging essay
Belonging refers to a cherished sense of being part of a communiny or fitting in well with the surroundings. Individuals belong to a vast range of groups such as schools and sporting teams. In contrast, the idea of not belonging refers to when a person or object does not assimilate, is rejected or seems out of place. They may feel isolated and unnoticed. A sense of belonging is vital for people to develop a sense of their own identity in an increasingly diverse world. Not belongiong can create lonely feelings of isolation or alienation which result in a loss of identity and self esteam.

Director Baz Luhrmann’s film, Strictly Ballroom (1993) and the 1939 poem “Refugee Blues” by W.H Auden both convey distinct concepts concerning the subject of belonging and not belonging. Both texts emphasise the positive power of a sense of belonging has for an individual and the negative effects created by a sense of isolation or alienation.

Strictly Ballroom is a postmodern pastiche, a hybridised genre of fairy tail romance which focuses its attention on the gaudy, fantastical world of ballroom dancing and the fixated characters that live within it. Luhrmann employs a range of cinematic techniques to create scenes depicting realism for family and developing interpersonal relationships and hyperrealism for the artificial world of the Australian Dance Federation. The film relies upon binary opposites of opposing ideas and contrasting characters to represent the extremes of belonging and not belonging.

When Scott is dancing in the Southern Districts Waratah opening scene where the red curtains are drawn and the dancers begin their monotonous, yet colourful routines. The use of the red curtains signals that the viewer is entering a theatrical world and the need for a suspension of disbelief. The red curtains symbolise that the film’s main purpose is to entertain. The illustriousness of the dance world is further emphasised through the exaggeration and...
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