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Shall We Dance

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Esther Dupree
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Topic Posts: 3
Shall We Dance

This is a Japanese film from 1996 directed by Masayuki Suo.  It is about a married man with a decent job who has worked hard to save up and buy his wife and daughter a home and a car in the suburbs in Japan, which is a difficult feat for a middle class worker.  He starts the film by appearing a little lost and uninspired.  He then discovers a ballroom dancing class that he sees a beautiful dance instructor teaching and opts to join.  He cannot afford private lessons with her, so he pays for group lessons with another teacher.  What starts out as a potentially marriage damaging mid-life crisis, turns out to be redemption and a new lease on life.  He is alivened with having a purpose and spends more and more time practicing his dancing.  He is ashamed of what he does as ballroom dancing is not a socially acceptable hobby, so he keeps it a secret from his wife and daughter.  

This is a really great film that shows modern life in Japan (modern as of 1996 haha) and exposes the viewer to values and customs that are different from some Western values and customs.  This would be a great film for a Visual and Performing Arts course as they can see how ballroom dancing has impacted cultures all over the world.  

I think I will use it as a tool to do simple individual dance moves with the students for some exercise breaks.  

It is a heart warming film and gives a sweet little glance into some different ways of living while having the universal storyline of loniless and personal desire for happiness and achievement.