Shall We Dance or Dansu?

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Watching both version of Shall We Dance/Dansu?, I realized that although the two versions focuses on ballroom and the perspective on dance, there was variation according to the culture in which the movies were created. Interestingly, I never thought that ballroom dancing could harm the male’s ego. According to my discussions in dance class this semester, dance originally began with men as the main performers. From the main character’s perspective (Mr. Clark and Mr. Sugiyama), they felt embarrassed and ashamed of their decision to want to dance aside from their regular routine. From the female perspective, I cannot completely understand why men are embarrassed to dance because they could simply ask their “significant other” to join them, in order to ease their burden of hiding their dance class attendance. I would like to say that the “buddy system” is best because your “significant other” should also be your “partner in crime.” However, I believe that hiring a private investigator may have gone a tad bit too far. To be honest, I think I may have the same inspiration to dance because I do look at others, especially the guys. Aside from attraction of the opposite sex, the passion and emotions that they put into their movements is also a factor. The ballroom dancing presented in the movie is also quite inspirational because of the development that they go through in order to finally be openly happy.

In comparison, as a native born American, I find the American version more appealing and friendlier due to the cultural differences in which the Japanese are more strict with status, reputation, and masculinity. Although, it is a reoccurring theme in the American version, it was not as burdening as on the characters. I did enjoy the fact that they had Link and Aoki are practically identical with their personality in which the other characters were striving for except for the secrecy.

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