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Tuesday, August 13 • 7:30pm

Strictly Ballroom

This offbeat hilarious story began life as a drama school production written and directed by a 20-something who just happened to be Baz Luhrmann.The sleeper hit of the 1992 Cannes Film Festival where it received a 15-minute standing ovation, Strictly Ballroom is brash, snappily written and absolutely entertaining. The film has a light irreverent tone and debut-director Luhrmann pulls superb comedic performances from his largely unknown cast.

STRICTLY BALLROOM introduces audiences to the flashy, sometimes mad, and occasionally cutthroat world of competitive ballroom dance. Talented young dancer Scott Hastings (Paul Mercutio) causes a scandal in the dance world by performing his own steps. His dance partner is infuriated, the president of the Dance Federation is vengeful, and his competitive mother is confounded. Scott, however, will not be deflected from his course and finds an ally in Fran (Tara Morice), a new dancer at his mother’s studio.

“What’s best about the movie is the sense of madness and mania running just beneath its surface. In one sense, the characters care about nothing but ballroom dancing. They eat, drink and sleep it, and talk of nothing else. Their costumes alone are a tip-off that they’ve had no contact with the real world for years. Yet in another sense, ballroom dancing is simply the strategy they use to hold the world at bay.” Roger Ebert

National Film Archive and Sound Australia features an online exhibition on Strictly Ballroom which is worth checking out.

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From stage to screen.  The Cinderella story of Strictly Ballroom.