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Flash Dance Analysis

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‘Flash Dance’(1983) dir. Adrian Lynn follows the story of Alex Owens, a young 18 year old welder who dreams of one day being able to join an elite group of ballet dancers. In comparison to, ‘West Side Story’ the narrative of ‘Flash Dance’ is one that concentrates on the women and how they control their bodies, the plot focuses on the passion and lustfulness in a relationship compared to previously mentioned filmed which concentrates on the love aspect of romance. ‘Flash Dance’ challenges the patriarchal system that Alex, as a woman, finds herself in. While the film has stereotypical hetero-normative characters such as Richie and Jeanie and a love interest that plays on class dynamics and social stratification the romantic side of this …show more content…

working as a Welder. During the day Alex portrays dominant male attributes, her presence and her fashion sense (jumpsuits were widely viewed as Unisex apparel in the 80’s) but of a night she is allowed the freedom to express her femininity and identity through dance. The most notable moments in the film that to me obviously explore the relationship between dance, song and romance and how they interact with the development of a plot or narrative is Alex’s infamous water drenching dance, which has heavy sexual connotations and is a plot device used in many other Lynn other films i.e Fatal Attraction, and her leg splitting audition in the denouement of the film. (Fig. 5) The still above (Fig.5) from Alex’s audition scene, is a still of one of the most memorable sequences throughout the film, the editing used is almost perfectly synched to the music. While the use of dance and movement that Alex portrays is sensual and very intimate but equally expresses her joy and passion for dance, it could therefore be argued that the use of editing, light, costume etc. are what advances the romantic plot forward in the narrative and that the dance sequences are merely a device used to fill space within the …show more content…

A specialty dance is a routine used in musicals in which a character has to use their specific skill to over come obstacles and reach the end of their story. I would therefore argue that as a film the music and dance sequences are outstanding and memorable, however I don’t find them to be essential to the development of the narrative. Fred Astaire once quoted that ‘It is extremely important for a dance cue to flow naturally in and out of the story … Each dance ought to spring somehow out of character or situation (Macintosh, F. 2010), in the case of ‘Flash Dance’ I don’t believe that narrative flow of the plot blends the dance sequences smoothly enough for it to seem natural. I would therefore argue that in this case music does not becomes the signifier par excellence of the value of the couple and of courtship, rather that other elements such as mise-en-scene, editing, framing, script etc. are important in the building romance throughout the

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