Friday, February 18, 2011

Alice in Wonderland & The Stepford Wives: Square Dancing, Quadrille

I love both movies and the scenes of the square dance are just great. Alice in Wonderland's square dancing is completely different from The Stepford Wives's one and both are different from square dancing in Brazil - quadrilha. Great for cultural aspects too.

I. Read some characteristics of a square dance and check the ones you could see in the movie segment from the movie The Stepford Wives.

1. ( ) Square dance consists of four couples arranged in a square.

2. ( ) The steps are based on the steps or figures used in traditional folk dances.

3. ( ) There are several steps that all couples must follow.

4. ( ) Dancers wear traditional clothing.

5. ( ) It is usually a happy dance and people smile, laugh and have a good time together.

6. ( ) It is usually performed in ballrooms or outdoors.

7. ( ) There are a lot of rehearsals before the square dance actually takes place.

8. ( ) In the USA, Americans do it in special holidays and events.

9. ( ) Depending on the steps, some men have to dance with other men as well.

10. ( ) Somebody gives the commands for the steps to be followed.

II. Now watch the segment from the movie Alice in Wonderland. It shows a quadrille, which is a precursor to traditional square dance. Read the items in exercise I and repeat the process in the previous exercise, deciding which characteristics you managed to identify in the segment.

III. Compare both scenes.

1. How similar are the square dance in The Stepford Wives and the quadrille in Alice in Wonderland? How different are they?

2. Which one do you prefer? Why?

3. How do you compare both dances with the Brazilian traditional quadrilha? What do they all have in common and how different is the quadrilha? (for Brazilians only)

4. Do you have square dancing in your country? If so, describe it, comparing to the ones you saw in both segments.

5. What is the future of square dancing? Do you think this tradition will fade away in the future? Explain it.




  1. Great activity, Claudio!! Wish U could come to Recife for a workshop!!

    Take care and have a wonderful weekend!! And if you see the movie 'Waiting for Superman' let me know. I would LOVE to see something on this.

    Lucia (Cultura Recife - ex ABA)

  2. Hey Lu,

    Miss you. I'd love to go to Recife. Who knows someone invites me over? See you.

  3. Hi there,

    Let me thank you for the great activity but there seems to be no video uploaded for the Alice Scene. I would be grateful if you could check it.


  4. Please, chech the videos out now. Thanks for the feedback.