La Tarantella

The La Tarantella is a dance that originated in Italy. The dance has many different variations depending on where one hears it, but they all have the same upbeat tempo. The Tarantella can be danced as a couple, but the most recognizable is when one dances it solo. It is said that it came from a victim of a spider (tarantula) bite. The victim is supposed to dance to a rhythm that suggests that they are getting out the venom.

Henrik Ibsen at first did not put the element of the Tarantella dance in A Doll’s House, but the final revision did include this because he wanted to give Torvald an element that would allow him to lust over his wife at the finale part of the play. Torvald seeing his wife dance this way allows the audience to see that there is a sexual side to the marriage. Ibsen chose to use this style of dance because it allows Nora to dance around the room in a violent but sexual way. The Tarantella is mentioned throughout the entire play, and it occurs right before the peek of the play. In way one can see that the play itself is dancing the Tarantella because the lies and deception keep building until there is nothing else to do but leave.