One’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging; this is effectively demonstrated in Strictly Ballroom by Baz Luhrmann. Through the communication with society one’s determined perspective can challenge society’s morals and values which can result in the broadening or deepening of an individual’s understanding of themselves or the world. The leadership within the community forces one to conform which can result in a loss of identity and corruption within the group when their rules of conformity are challenged. This is also evident in the extract from Sisters by Drusilla Modjeska demonstrating ones association with society, their relationship and understanding of belonging can be invigorated or languished.
An individual’s different perception can challenge a group’s sense of devotion and togetherness; this is effectively demonstrated in Strictly Ballroom through the defiance against the strict rules of ballroom dancing. Scott and Fran’s rebellion against the community of dancing has affirmed their relationship through their similar interest in dancing new steps. This is seen through Scott’s dialogue “You know what I said about the rumba, and it being pretend? ... I think I made a mistake” this hypophora illustrating how Scott has recognised Fran’s self-worth and accepts her through their affiliation. But their relation and dance is not accepted by Scott’s family and society because of their cultural and social differences. This is represented by the fence as they kiss which is symbolic of prohibited and connotes a forbidden love. Their togetherness is more natural and human, filmed in a more naturalistic sense compared to the characters presented through the meta-theatrical techniques. However their defiance causes the dance community to be shattered, as loyalty and fellowship unravel, this is demonstrated by President Barry Fife’s downfall. This is seen when Wayne realises the corruption of Barry and the community as he hears, it’s “your year Ken, just get on the floor, go through the motions and it’s in the bag…” This climax illustrates the corruption within the dance committee, further emphasised as the scene is filmed behind a fence which suggest what Barry is doing is prohibited and dishonest, hence the scene is dimly lighted. This shatters Barry’s ‘perfect image’ of president, this is the instigator for his loss of power and control. This is symbolised when his wig fell off, as the wig is an allusion of hair which represents a man’s pride, youth and virility. Scott’s self-expression in dancing new steps has strengthened his relationship with Fran, but in this, exposes the corruption present in the dance comity, thus causing an estrangement within the community, fluctuating their sense of belonging.
The conformity within a community can lead to one’s loss of identity but another’s sense of belonging. This is illustrated through the juxtaposition of Scott and Shirley’s characters and their perception of dancing. To conform and meet society’s expectations, Scott has to sacrifice his dancing style, represented through his costuming. Scott’s costume is a flashy, yellow uniform that acts as a visual language letting the audience understand that while he stays in his glitzy uniform he is conforming to strict dancing. To retain Scott Barry pressures him with threats and emotional blackmail, “don’t blow it son, ‘cause if you don’t start listening to your teachers and superiors there won’t be a score on the board low enough for you…” This climax forces Scott back into belonging to the conventional world of dance by bestowing Doug’s legacy upon him. This causes Scott to lose his individuality as he is unable to express himself illustrating how his conformity to the dance world is at the expense of his identity. Correspondingly in Sisters the protagonist’s