Shall we dansu? (Shall We Dance?)

11 May

Shall we dansu? (Shall We Dance?)

Shall We Dance?

Shall we dansu? (Shall We Dance?) (1996) – 92/100 – mostly ballroom/ dancesport, subtitles.

I first saw this film many years ago, before I started salsa, and before the Hollywood release. It was on the Foreign Films rack at Blockbuster, and it’s still there today, which says something for the film’s timelessness.

I don’t remember this film as one that made me want to go out and learn how to dance. Watching it now, post-salsa, it still doesn’t give me that feeling. However, it is a beautiful, sensitive story of attraction and connection between humans, who happen to dance, each for their own reason.

Some of my favourite actors in this movie:

Kôji YakushoKôji Yakusho – he gives a very believable performance of a journey through beginner’s hell.

Tamiyo KusakariTamiyo Kusakari – poised, elegant, and sensitive.

Naoto TakenakaNaoto Takenaka – dancesport gigolo!

Movie trailer:

Cinematography – 10/10
Story – 10/10
Pacing – 10/10
Action and Dialogue – 10/10
Impact – 10/10
Characters – 10/10
Originality – 10/10

Music – 8/10
Salsa/ Dance – 8/10
Makes you want to be a salsa gigolo – 6/10

Total – 70/70, 22/30

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8 Responses to “Shall we dansu? (Shall We Dance?)”

  1. Maria May 21, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    Hi SG! Long time no comment, I know. The internet has been too overwhelming for me lately.
    I loved this movie. That JLo/Richard Gere debacle can’t hold a candle to the original. Coincidentally, just the other day I sang that song (from the King and I) during showtunes karaoke. Everything is connected.

  2. salsagigolo May 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    Hi Maria,
    I agree, it’s been too long … I’ve been wanting to comment on one of your blog posts for the longest time, but have resisted … like how I might see a salsera I really, really want to dance with, but hold back, and don’t ask, just to savour that feeling of “not having” …

    But you are too harsh! While I agree, the original film is a classic, I thought the JLo/ Richard Gere release was as faithful as it could get for a Hollywood production. When I’m in the mood, I like to watch both movies, back-to-back.

  3. Maria May 23, 2008 at 11:58 pm #

    I think what was different about the original is that set in the context of Japanese society, the “transgressions” of ballroom dancing were so much in contrast with traditional mores.

    Somehow, when set in the US, where if anything ballroom dancing is seen as a more traditional pursuit, it just wasn’t as spicy.

  4. salsagigolo May 24, 2008 at 8:29 am #

    Yes, there is that feeling of dancing as taboo or illicit in this one. Also, dancing as an individual escape from tradition. Yes, spicy.

    The US one, there is a feeling of something secret, but not really taboo. Now, if instead of JLo, they had MA, well that would have made the US one spicy :).

  5. Dana June 16, 2008 at 8:09 pm #

    Can anyone tell me where I can download or watch this movie online? I need to see it for a class. Thank you.

  6. salsagigolo June 17, 2008 at 8:13 pm #

    edit: There used to be a place online, but now it’s gone — too bad.

    Also, your local Blockbuster Video might have it – mine does :).

  7. Harlequin June 18, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Harlequin.

  8. salsagigolo June 19, 2008 at 3:46 am #

    Well, Thanks :).

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