December 2015 | Dance History Quiz

dance-hqFun facts for teachers and students.

1 What is/are The One Hundreds?

a. A senior tap group that performs at professional rugby games
b. A modern dance company in Pierre, South Dakota, named for the nearby hundredth meridian west
c. A dance by Twyla Tharp
d. A competition in which dances cannot last more than 100 seconds


2 Who was Master Juba?

a. A 19th-century performer of what would become tap, regarded as one of the best dancers of his time
b. A notoriously tough judge on the ballroom dance circuit
c. A professor of dance pedagogy at London’s Middlesex University
d. A 1960s cartoon character who resembled Wile E. Coyote, wore a tuxedo, and sang and danced


3 What part did Bennington College play in dance history?

a. Bennington Ballet, famous for Maple Syrup Serenade and Moose Mazurka, was founded there.
b. It was home to Bennington School of the Dance, an acclaimed summer modern dance program/festival that ran from 1934 to 1942 and whose core faculty included Martha Graham and Hanya Holm.
c. It hosted the first college ski–ballet competition.
d. Alumni include many notable dancers, choreographers, and dance educators.


4 Which popular television show periodically featured performances by esteemed ballet dancers?

a. The Ed Sullivan Show
b. The Tonight Show
c. Soul Train
d. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea


5 How and when was ballet introduced in Russia?

a. In the 16th century, when Ivan the Terrible commanded slaves to perform dances to commemorate land annexations.
b. In 1738, when French dancer and teacher Jean Batiste Landé opened a ballet school in St. Petersburg; its students performed in the royal palaces in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
c. Peter the Great was envious of the seemingly absolute power with which Louis XIV ruled France. Seeking to emulate him, the tsar hired one of France’s great dancing masters and took lessons secretly. Although he was unable to master the form or even remember three consecutive steps, ballet soon took root in Russia.
d. Marie Taglioni’s 1837 performance in La Sylphide in St. Petersburg created a sensation. Tsar Nicholas II, who had never seen ballet, spent vast sums to establish Russia’s first ballet school, company, and dedicated theater.


6 Which famous dancer was imprisoned in an internment camp during World War II?

a. Michio Ito, a Japanese dancer and choreographer known for a choreographic style and teaching methods that incorporated Eastern and Western influences
b. American-born modern dancer Yuriko (Kikuchi), whose affiliation with Martha Graham Dance Company lasted 50 years
c. Kazuo Ohno, one of the founders of butoh
d. Dorothy Toy, who with Paul Wing was part of a duo often called the “Chinese Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers,” although Toy (née Takahashi) was of Japanese descent. She changed her name to fit on marquees (primarily Chinese nightclubs) and to avoid anti-Japanese sentiment.