Save the last dance

Outline

In Save the Last Dance, Sarah’s dance for her audition to Julliard is the climax of the story and also as denouement of the story which began with the tragedy of Sarah’s mom dying in her first audition to the school.

Purpose or meaning of the scene to the film

  1. Sarah is portrayed as still plagued by her doubts regarding her ability as a dancer and affected by her personal relationship struggles.
  2. Major issues of the story were addressed in the last scene, serving as  a microcosm of the movie
  3. Reiterating to the audience the themes of the film.

Form and style

Use of music, not only during the dance routine alone but also to the events used to build the climax.

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Lighting/framing for dramatic imagery

  • Shadowed ambience except for Sarah and the judges suggests that the performance was a world unto itself for Sarah.
  • Shift of frame focus between the dancing technique of Sarah and the emotional significance of the routine respectively.

Visual focal points

  • Placement of the one chair at the center of the stage, which also created a focus for the dance routine
  • Close shots of Sarah during the whole of the routine which further centers the focus on the performance.

Editing

  1. Extensive movements in the course of the routine to highlight the fact that she is a dancer as well as Sarah, a young woman
  2. Shifts between frame perspectives have to be done in sync with music
  3. Emotive needs of the scenes which may not be easily communicated through a more technical perspective of editing
  4. Editing must be able to make subject communicate emotions effectively which entails emphasis of affectations and facial expressions

Save the Last Dance

In Save the Last Dance, Sarah’s dance for her audition to Julliard is the climax of the story and also as denouement of the story which began with the tragedy of Sarah’s mom dying in her first audition to the school. In the scene, Sarah is portrayed as still plagued by her doubts regarding her ability as a dancer and affected by her personal relationship struggles. As much as the audition serves as a realization of Sarah’s goal of getting accepted to Julliard, it is also used to symbolize the culmination and resolution of the struggles that Sarah sought to deal with in the story. The major issues of the story were addressed in the last scene and therefore have also served as a microcosm of the whole plot thus reiterating to the audience the themes of the film.

One of the major elements of the last scenes of Save the Last Dance was the use of music, not only during the dance routine alone but also to the events used to build the climax. Lighting of the scene created a dramatic image: by using a generally shadowed ambience except for Sarah and the judges, there is suggestion that the performance was a world unto itself for Sarah. The last scene has also created a focal point by the placement of the one chair at the center of the stage, which also created a focus for the dance routine. There were also very close shots of Sarah during the whole of the routine which further centers the focus on the performance. Long shots were used together with close up shots to shift focus between the dancing technique of Sarah and the emotional significance of the routine respectively.

In scenes like the one created for the Save the Last Dance editorial discretion is critical to make the scene effective. Since there is only one subject in the scene, editing must be able to make subject communicate emotions effectively which entails emphasis of affectations and facial expressions. This can prove difficult in these type of scenes since there are extensive movements in the course of the routine. One of the key challenges of editing in the scene is to be able to allow Sarah, the individual, to be seen beyond being the dancer and at the same time, there is need to highlight the fact that she is a dancer accomplishing a complex routine. At the same, the shots, particularly the short ones and shifts between frame perspectives have to be done in sync. The nature of the scene then will benefit well form editorial discretion because of the emotive needs of the scenes which may not be easily communicated through a more technical perspective of editing.

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Save the last dance. (2016, Dec 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/save-the-last-dance/