Video break down – “Let’s Dance”
By David Bowie
Lets Dance was the first music video I saw growing up where I saw Aboriginal faces in mainstream music clip and one of the few 80’s clips that made sense with a political message and great use of metaphor that everyone understood.it highlights the complexities of a existing where you feel alienated in your own country
Pubs are popular hangouts in Australia this scene shows a metaphor of Australia’s isolation .This scene emphasises how indigenous people are outnumbered in mainstream society the only 2 aborignal people dancing is referencing how out of place they are.The pair are Terry Roberts and Joelene King starring.
The red shoes are the main symbol that represents capitalism which seduces and oppresses Native People. It’s the main focus through out the song
This scene shows how enticing material possessions are by western ideals of being successful member of society .The girl puts on the shoes and dances saying that she accepts the materialistic lifestyle
in the 1950’s British Nuclear Radiation tests were happening in Aboriginal outback area of Maralinga which caused radiation sickness,blindness & infertility
the young man is now working in a factory.David Bowie playing a manager to represent how people assert their power over Indigenous people by appearing as a dominating personality
We go on the the surreal scene of the young man pulling big steel mill machine down busy Sydney traffic much to drivers dismal.On YouTube many people debate why he is doing it.But I believe the negative representation of Aboriginal people in the media where the mainstream audiences tend to look at actions not causes of indigenous disadvantages.Also nothing how difficult it was for indigenous people to leave their communities find work in big cities
The young pair are enjoying the luxuries imagined of what life could be like enjoying privileges of their white Australian counterparts
This scene shows how everyone in Australia in some way are challenged to the balancing act of maintaining their culture
The girl stomps the red shoes in the dirt disregarding it another political reference on how governments lack of Cultural understanding and their failure to assimilate native people in mainstream society.
“But I see no reason to fuck about with that message, you see? I thought, ‘Let’s try to use the video format as a platform for some kind of social observation, and not just waste it on trotting out and trying to enhance the public image of the singer involved. I mean, these are little movies, and some movies can have a point, so why not try to make some point. This stuff goes out all over the world; it’s played on all kinds of programs. I mean-you get free point time!”
– David Bowie