August 2015 | Dance History Quiz

dance-hqFun facts for teachers and students.

1 The music often used in ballet class to accompany sequential pirouettes or fouetté turns is the Black Swan coda from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, to which the ballerina does 32 fouetté turns. Who was the first ballerina to perform 32 consecutive fouetté turns?

a. Sylvie Guillem
b. Anna Pavlova
c. Hyacinth Hippo
d. Pierina Legnani

Answer

2 During an onstage rehearsal, which well-known choreographer walked backward and fell into the orchestra pit while the dancers she/he was directing watched and said nothing?


a. Twyla Tharp
b. Jerome Robbins
c. Mary Wigman
d. Travis Wall

Answer

3 Which dance was not created as a choreographer’s response to war?



a. Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table
b. Frederick Ashton’s Dante Sonata
c. Antony Tudor’s Echoing of Trumpets
d. The jitterbug

Answer

4 Which modern dance choreographer, when called by the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify about communist activities in the art world replied, “I’m a dancer, not a singer”?


a. Bella Lewitzky
b. David Parsons
c. Ruth St. Denis
d. Stephen Petronio

Answer

5 What was Judson Memorial Church?



a. The church where George Balanchine married Maria Tallchief
b. The New York City church where performances in the 1960s led to the emergence of what many call postmodern dance in America
c. The setting for the video in which Sergei Polunin dances to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church”
d. The name of a boy band

Answer

6 What is a flash act?



a. An NFL halftime performance characterized by an elaborate light show
b. A dance company that garners a lot of attention, then suddenly disbands
c. A dance act popular in the early part of the 20th century that included acrobatics, tumbling, and other spectacular physical feats
d. Hip-hop style done by performers wearing ostentatious clothing

Answer

7 When and where was the first butoh piece performed?



a. In 17th-century Bhutan, for Ngawang Namgyal, a Tibetan prince, also a Buddhist lama, who unified the regions now known as Bhutan
b. Prehistoric France, based on drawings of what is thought to be a butoh performance found in the Lascaux Caves
c. June 2, 2015 on an episode of The View
d. In post–World War II Japan

Answer

8 Who founded Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, where dancers from across the country and around the world train, and which over the years has presented performances by Alexandra Danilova and Frederic Franklin, Lester Horton Dance Theater, Twyla Tharp Company, Savion Glover, and hundreds of others?

a. A consortium of religious leaders who wanted to promote “praise dance” and named the festival after the biblical Jacob
b. The Jacobin Club, a political group that argued for radical reform during the French Revolution
c. Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis
d. Jake Gyllenhaal, because who doesn’t want to start a dance festival, dude?

Answer