Ibsen’s Challenge: The Tarantella Rehearsal

  • Julie Holledge
  • Jonathan Bollen
  • Frode Helland
  • Joanne Tompkins
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Performance and Technology book series (PSPT)


Investigating multiple versions of a single scene from Ibsen’s play, the tarantella rehearsal, this chapter examines patterns from 150 productions. The prototype tree design includes a trunk (the most recurring image) as the iconic image of Nora with the tambourine raised above her head performing an Italian folk dance. The four branches that depart from this interpretation are the branch of cuts and substitutions; the voyeuristic branch; the branch of transgressions where Nora breaks through respectable conventions of drawing-room entertainment to embody some form of social negation; and the branch of other dancing bodies where new corporeal representations challenge assumptions about heterosexual desire and the social organisation of gender. Our analysis uncovers some of the social, political, and representational forces at work within Et dukkehjem.


Female Body Male Character Female Character Altered State Sexual Ambivalence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Holledge
    • 1
  • Jonathan Bollen
    • 2
  • Frode Helland
    • 1
  • Joanne Tompkins
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Ibsen StudiesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.School of the Arts and MediaUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

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