Alice in Danceland

  • Fabio Ciambella University of Rome "Tor Vergata"
Keywords: film adaptation, Disney, Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland, dance


The purpose of this paper is to present an unexplored case study in the field of the studies on adaptation: the dance in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll and its transformations during the transmodalization. In particular the two most popular film adaptations of the novel of the Victorian writer will be presented and analysed: the cartoon produced by Disney in 1951 and the 2010 film directed by the Californian director Tim Burton.

If in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Carroll introduce a dance performed by some lobsters (precisely in chapter X that is titled "The Lobster Quadrille"), in the Disney's masterpiece there is no trace either of lobsters, turtles or griffins. Paradoxically, dancing in the cartoon is a recurring motif, which is the background to the vicissitudes of the protagonist from the beginning to the end.

The viewer of Burton’s Alice will be even much more shocked by the presence of the dance in two specific moments of the film – at the beginning and at the end – which are not present nor in the hypotext, nor in its Twentieth-century adaptation. In other words, although the dance is present in the three works, it never appears at the same time.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Fabio Ciambella, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"
Faculty of Lettere e Filosofia, PhD Lingue e Letterature Straniere


Armytage, W. H. G., French Influence on English Education, Londra, Routledge, 2012.

Billi, Mirella, Il testo riflesso. La parodia nel romanzo inglese, Napoli, Liguori, 2000.

Canfora, Cristina & Lardieri, Luca, Alice attraverso lo schermo: da Poe a Carroll, viaggio nella letteratura fantasy nel cinema, Roma, Sovera, 2010.

Casey, Betty, Dance across Texas, Austin, University of Texas Press, 1985.

Engelhardt, Molly, Dancing Out of Line: Ballrooms, Ballets, and Mobility in Victorian Fiction and Culture, Atene (Ohio), Ohio University Press, 2009.

Frow, John, Genre, Abingdon, Routledge, 2006.

Genette, Gérard, Palinsesti. La letteratura di secondo grado (1982), trad. it. di R. Novità, Torino, Einaudi, 1997.

Hutcheon, Linda, A theory of Adaptation, Londra, Routledge, 2006.

Keller, Robert M., Dance figures index: American country dances, 1730-1810, Peabody, Hendrickson, 1990.

Sangsue, Daniel, La parodia (1994), trad. it. di F. Vasarri, Roma, Armando, 2006.

Simmons, Claire A., Eyes across the Channel: French Revolutions, Party History and British Writing, 1830-1882, Amsterdam, Harwood Academic Publishers, 2000.

Susina, Jan, The Place of Lewis Carroll in Children's Literature, Abingdon, Taylor & Francis, 2009.

Taliaferro, Charles & Olson, Elizabeth, “Serious Nonsense”, Ed. Davis, Robert Brian, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser, New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

Thacker, Deborah Cogan & Webb, Jean, Introducing Children's Literature: From Romanticism to Postmodernism, Londra, Routledge, 2002.

Thompson, Allison, Dancing Through Time: Western Social Dance in Literature, 1400 – 1918: Selections, Jefferson, McFarland, 1998.

Wilson, Cheryl A., Literature and Dance in the Nineteenth-Century Britain, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Wilson, Thomas, The Quadrille and Cotillon Panorama, Londra, R. & E. Williamson, 1818.

How to Cite
Ciambella, F. (2012). Alice in Danceland. Between, 2(4).