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September 2010

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Juilliard Dance

Published: September 1, 2010
Category: composition

History Quiz: Bessie Schönberg

By Rachel Straus

1. What unique ability did Bessie Schönberg possess that led her to become one of the most revered composition teacher?

2. Name some of Schönberg’s former students who went on to become groundbreaking artists.

3. Schönberg directed the nation’s first college dance department at _____ _____ _____, for nearly four decades, establishing a shift in focus to the study and performance of _____ _____.

4. As a child, Schönberg fell in love with dance while watching performances by this famous German dancer/choreographer and teacher.

5. Who introduced Bessie to contemporary dance at the University of Oregon in 1927?

6. True or False: Schönberg performed in such famous works as Martha Graham’s Heretic and Primitive Mysteries, before a knee injury in 1931 prematurely ended her career.

7. Bessie’s unique teaching approach included focusing on _____ _____ _____, then exploring all variations, before defining a set of boundaries and developing a short study to perform in class.

8. Why did Bessie favor all styles of dance equally?

9. Since 1983, Schönberg’s first name has been synonymous with whose annual dance awards?

10. True or False: Bessie experienced a professional renaissance after her mandatory retirement, becoming asought-after choreographer teacher across the United States and Britain.


1. To help her students find their own creative voices, by honing in on the exact characteristic that set a person apart from everyone else;
2. Annie-B Parson, Jerome Robbins, Carolyn Brown, Lucinda Childs, Meredith Monk and Ronald K. Brown;
3. Sarah Lawrence College; student choreography.;
4. Mary Wigman;
5. Martha Hill;
6. True.;
7. Fundamental movement principles;
8. Because she believe that all dance, no matter the style, was difficult to create;
9. Dance Theater Workshop’s New York Dance and Performance Awards.;
10. True

See quiz at Dance Teacher

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