Mambo Girl Shall We Dansu Analysis

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Mambo Girl (1957), a movie musical, follows Kailing, a talented young woman widely admired for her singing and dancing capabilities, as she searches for acceptance after learning the truth about her background. Shall We Dansu? (1996) follows Mr. Sugiyama, a Japanese accountant who goes on a secretive and intimate journey into the world of ballroom dance. Both Mambo Girl and Shall We Dansu? emphasize the close relationship between intimacy and Latin dance by linking Kailing and Mr. Sugiyama’s manners of dancing Latin to the emotional connection each has with other characters. For Kailing, the presence and absence of physical contact with others while dancing signals the degree of intimacy she has with those around her, whereas, for Mr. Sugiyama,…show more content…
is a dance film. As demonstrated in the previous paragraphs, dancing Latin is undeniably attached to intimacy in both films, but in different ways; in Mambo Girl, Latin dance serves as an effect of intimacy whereas in Shall We Dansu?, it serves as the cause of intimacy. In a movie musical, dance and music become supporting characters in the film, often being used to drive the plot and reveal information about characters. Thus, in Mambo Girl, Latin dance serves to accompany, accentuate, and work in tandem with the narrative; therefore, Kailing’s way of moving with or without physical contact with others is a reflection of the level of intimacy she has with them. A dance film, on the other hand, employs dance as a main character with a more pivotal role in the transformation of the protagonist. Thus, in Shall We Dansu?, because it is an active force in the narrative with human-like characteristics, such as being shrouded in shame, ballroom dance becomes an initiator of intimacy. In Salsa and DanceSport, McMains explains Mexican-American Giselle Fernandez’s need for a creation of an alter ego despite already being

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