Billy Elliot Essay

Billy Elliot Essay-30
Billy emotionally expresses himself through dancing such as in the scene "Dance of Defiance" where he displays his talent and passion through an expressive dance routine.Music is used cleverly to compliment Billy in his quest to become an accomplished dancer.

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Dance is a space that is brimming with what Laura Mulvey has called ‘to-be-looked-at-ness’ (also see Cohan).

By making us look at it, dance also asks us to read it.

Somehow, somewhere, men engage with dance to at least temporarily emerge as forthrightly masculine.

[2] What intrigues me about these films is their engagements with dance. ’ In addressing this question, I want to resist the impulse to say what dance is.

When small town high school teacher Howard Brackett, who initially thinks of himself as straight, is outed on national television, he turns to a home-improvement cassette program entitled ‘Exploring Your Masculinity’ to teach himself how to appear to be straight.

In one of the cassette’s segments, Howard must resist the temptation to dance while the tape plays ‘I Will Survive’ and the stern macho instructor implores Howard to think about real men like John Wayne and Arnold Swartznegger.[1] A striking thing seems to be happening in contemporary male dance films.In the 1990s and into the new millennium, men suffering from masculinity crises often engage with dance in order to once again make a credible claim to their masculinity.In the film Billy Elliot directed by Stephen Daldry we see many important ideas and presented with one of them being identity.The idea of identity is presented through the use of a number of techniques such as symbolism, contrast, music and dancing.In this respect, dance is no different from any other spectacle or even performance.What makes spectacles so gripping is their demand to be read.Yet this choice of dance might make more sense if we consider how we popularly think about dance and how dance contributes to the construction of a cultural identity, understood as ‘how one’s body renders meaning [and is rendered meaningful] in society’ (Albright, xxiii).Popularly, many meanings of dance circulate in contemporary Western cultures.Approached genealogically (as Susan Leigh Foster does) or philosophically (as Graham Mc Fee does), conclusions of dance theorists about dance are similar — ‘what we understand as dance is dance’ (65).[3] At least initially, dance seems like an odd genre choice for films suturing male masculinity crises to make.


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