October 2015 | Dance History Quiz

dance-hqFun facts for teachers and students.

1 Which famous ballerina danced at Joseph Stalin’s 70th birthday celebration, for an audience that also included Mao Zedong?


a. Maya Plisetskaya
b. Anna Pavlova
c. Misty Copeland
d. Galina Ulanova

Answer

2 When did dancers first begin dancing on pointe?


a. During the reign of Louis XIV. Known as the Sun King, Louis wanted to be as close to the heavens as possible.
b. The early 19th century, with a notable performance on pointe occurring on March 12, 1832
c. When Marius Petipa invented pointe shoes, in 1894
d. 1920, after Serge Diaghilev saw a tap dance performance and wanted to reproduce the sound of shoes pounding the stage

Answer

3 Who founded and directed the first black modern dance company in America?



a. Arthur Mitchell
b. Alvin Ailey
c. Rennie Harris
d. Katherine Dunham

Answer

4 When did tap shoes as we know them—with metal plates attached to the sole and positioned at the toe and heel—begin to be used?


a. Around 1700, by accident, when a Scottish farrier taught his apprentice how to affix a horseshoe by using his clogging shoes as substitutes for a horse’s hooves. Forgetting that he’d put the metal on his shoes, he began clogging and discovered that the sound was vastly improved.
b. 1935, when Fred Astaire invented them for the movie Top Hat
c. Around 1910
d. The late 19th century, as steel production in the U.S. increased

Answer

5 Which choreographer created pieces that involved a stage covered with soil, one covered in carnations, and another covered in water?



a. Pina Bausch
b. Maurice Béjart
c. Vaslav Nijinsky
d. Viola Farber

Answer

6 What was the Hoofers Club?



a. A riding school and stable in Greenwich, Connecticut
b. An elite global organization of tap teachers and dancers
c. A Southern U.S. restaurant chain specializing in pig’s feet
d. A famous Harlem gathering place for tappers in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s

Answer

7 Who was Barbara Morgan?



a. A ballroom dance choreographer famous in the 1950s for her specialized contortionist moves
b. The owner of a British dancewear line
c. A dance photographer whose subjects were American modern dances and dancers
d. The 13-year-old winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 5

Answer

8 Which choreographic work was the first to be copyrighted?


a. The dancing broom sequence in the 1940 Disney movie Fantasia
b. Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, which premiered in 1960
c. Busby Berkley’s highly intricate, often kaleidoscopic choreography for movies, including the 1933 hit 42nd Street
d. Hanya Holm’s choreography for Kiss Me, Kate

Answer