Good Morning/Afternoon Mr. Strathdee and fellow English scholars, today we take a journey into the world of ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing, although not a dance of individualism, it also rebels against the label of conformity often thrown at it.
Our task was to compare the documentary ‘Absolutely Ballroom’, and the movie ‘Strictly Ballroom’. To properly undertake our task we were compelled to lose ourselves in the plots, music and techniques used in both films.
Both show us the highs and lows of songs, elaborate dance routines, lavish costumes, and outlandish characters. We watch as the plot weaves between drama and romance, while demanding the audience understand the importance of freedom and defying all bonds to achieve your dreams and ultimately victory in the face of all that opposes you.
The plot of “Absolutely Ballroom” is admittedly a little boring; however it has some relevant points that we find ourselves being able to relate to within the documentary, holding our attention throughout the half an hour it ran for.
“Absolutely Ballroom” was based in the town of Ystrad fawr, population
10 000, where ballroom dancing is lame and disco is the in thing. Within this quaint little town there is thirty-two female ballroom dancers; none with a male partner. A group of eight courageous young teens set out to find eight male partners. They succeed. The question is which ones would stay?
Be who you are; not who someonelse tries to make you. This is the theme of “Strictly Ballroom”. It’s a story of two young people, Scott and Fran, and their fight to be individuals and free to do and be who they feel they truly are. They forsake tradition and family to dance their own steps together at the Pan-Pacific Grand Pix.
In the documentary ‘Absolutely Ballroom’, many techniques are used to entice the audience to continue to watch their presentation of reality television. The first aspect is the songs they use. To be truly effective, as this documentary was, the songs must fit perfectly so that the audience subconsciously is listening, but consciously is observing the images on screen and don’t missing out on any important information which may detract from the story – line.
A documentary technique obviously favored in this production was real life action footage, or unobtrusive camera. In all the interviews staged, you don’t see the camera or hear the questions being asked.
A lot of the footage filmed is of the dancers’ feet, floor shots and aerial shots.