October 2, 1971: Soul Train premieres in national syndication.
October 7, 1993: Agnes de Mille dies in New York City.
October 11, 1918: Jerome Robbins is born in Manhattan.
October 12, 1968: Ballet Folklórico de México performs Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, which the choreographer sets on them for the opening ceremonies of the Mexico City 1968 Summer Olympic Games. This was and remains the only performance of Revelations by a company other than Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater or Ailey II.
October 18-21, 1977: Rudolf Nureyev tapes episode 213 of The Muppet Show, in which he dances Swine Lake with a giant female pig in a tutu and performs a tap-dancing closing number. The episode airs for the first time the following January.
October 21, 1891: Ted Shawn is born in Kansas City, Missouri.
October 23, 1916: Till Eulenspiegel, with libretto and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, who dances the title role, premieres at the Manhattan Opera House during the second U.S. tour of the Ballets Russes. The ballet is performed only 23 times, and only during this tour, until a reconstruction is first staged in 1994.
October 27, 1973: The Jackson 5 demonstrates roboting during a performance of “Dancing Machine” on Soul Train.
October 30: Appalachian Spring premieres at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role (1944). Judith Jamison dances with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for the first time (1965).