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BEST Ballet Quiz (Terminology, Ballerinas, Ballets etc!)

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From ballet terminology to famous ballet productions and the ballerinas & ballerinos who perform them (plus a little bit of ballet history too!) – this is the Ultimate Ballet Quiz!

Ballet is an art form that is one of the most beloved in the performing arts sphere. The grace, the poise, the skill, the musicality and the storytelling are simply some of the most beautiful things to witness in a theatre.

It’s one of the first forms of dance that children are exposed to at ballet schools across the world, tutus are a much-loved dress-up item (for all ages and genders!) and more and more adults are turning to barre fitness classes to tap into the strength and other benefits of ballet dancing.

To really test your knowledge we have split our ballet trivia questions into two sections. The first one we think is more of a ‘ballet quiz for beginners’. It’s got a mix of single answer and multiple-choice basic ballet quiz questions about ballet terminology to get you started, before moving on to our ultimate ballet quiz. With slightly more difficult ballet quiz questions about prima ballerinas, famous dance companies and the ballets themselves, for those who may not dance themselves, but love the performance, the art, the ballet history and the legendary dancers who have brought it to life.

So, whether you love the movement or the performance, grab your dance-loving friends for the ultimate ballet quiz and see who is worthy of a standing ovation, or who needs to go back to ballet class!

Ballet Quiz Questions and Answers cover photo of a woman's ankles and feet wearing pointe shoes and standing on pointe

Ballet Terminology Quiz

1. French for bent, what is the bending of knees in ballet called?

2. ‘Allegro’ is the term applied to:
A. A bright or brisk movement.
B. A slow movement.
C. No movement.
D. A jumping movement.

3. Literally meaning “tight or stretched” it is one of the fundamental movements in ballet where the working leg is extended along the floor until only the tip of the toe remains touching the floor. What is it called?

4. If a female dancer is called a Ballerina, what is a male dancer called?
A. Guy ballerina.
B. Bomballerine.
C. Male dancer.
D. Ballerino.

5. “Releve” means to:
A. Leap.
B. Split.
C. Raise.
D. Chasse.

6. What name is given to a type of shoe worn by ballet dancers?

7. “Ballon” means to:
A. Bounce.
B. Glide.
C. Float.
D. Slide.

Male Ballerina in blue shorts and sleevless shirt, holding a female ballerina in a split

8. What name is given to a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together?

9. “Petit Battenment” means:
A. Big Beat.
B. Small Beat.
C. No Beat.
D. Medium Beat.

10. What is the name given to the wooden bar that is used in a ballet class or to rehearse?

11. If you love Ballet, whether it be performing, watching, producing etc. what word describes you?
A. Balletowomane.
B. Balletomane.
C. Balletier.
D. Balletfan

12. “En arriere” means:
A. Backwards.
B. Forwards.
C. Behind.
D. In Front.

Ballerina in a pink leotard with pink chiffon skirt dancing in a park

13. “Fondu” means:
A. Cheese, please!
B. To Twirl Around.
C. To Sink Down.
D. To Jump Up.

14. True or False: “pirouette en dedans” means to spin outwards?

15. “Saute” means:
A. Jump.
B. Step.
C. Kick.
D. Slide.

Ultimate Ballet Quiz (Ballerinas, Ballets, Companies etc!)

Two white tutus with white bodice hanging on display

1. In which country did Ballet originate around the 15th Century?
A. France.
B. USA.
C. England.
D. Italy.

2. Which was the first ballet ever created by a symphony composer?

3. Founded in 1776, which internationally renowned classical ballet company is among the world’s oldest ballet companies?

4. Which meringue-based dessert is believed to have been created and named in honour of the legendary dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s?

4. Which is the oldest national ballet company?
A. The Royal Ballet.
B. New York City Ballet.
C. American Ballet Theatre.
D. Paris Opera Ballet.

6. In 1653 Louis XIV created his first dance performance, “Ballet de la Nuit” or “ballet of the night.”  It was after this performance that Louis received what popular moniker?

7. Valentino is a 1977 American biographical film loosely based on the life of silent film actor Rudolph Valentino. Which legendary male ballet dancer portrayed the role of Rudolph Valentino in the film?

8. Which classical ballet was first performed by the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique (The Paris Opera Ballet) in Paris, France, on 28 June 1841, with Italian ballerina Carlotta Grisi?

Ballet Dancers in White TuTus on stage

9. In October 1935, who became the first American prima ballerina to have performed in front of King George V and Queen Mary at a Royal Command Performance at the London Palladium?

10. In 1955, who became the first African-American dancer with the New York City Ballet?

11. In ballet, what connects the Quarter, Platform, Throat, Vamp, Ribbon, Binding and Box?

12. One of the most popular ballets of all time, which ballet tells the story of Prince Sigfried and the young Odette, who was cursed by the sorcerer von Rothbart?

13. How many arm positions are there in ballet?
A. 7.
B. 8.
C. 5. 
D. 6.

14. Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts and was brought to France by which Italian noblewoman in the 16th Century?

Pink pointe shoes hanging from a wooden hanger

15. What name is given to the group of dancers who are not principal dancers or soloists but a permanent part of the ballet company and often work as a backdrop for the principal dancers?

16. According to a survey, major American ballet companies generate around 40% of their annual ticket revenues from the performances of which ballet originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky?

17. Who was America’s first major prima ballerina, and the first Native American to hold the rank?

18. The Tutu was first introduced to the world by which celebrity ballet dancer?
A. Marie Taglioni.
B. Margot Fonteyn.
C. Lydia Lopokova.
D. Anna Pavlova.

19. Often labelled as the first modern novel and is considered one of the greatest works ever written, which literary masterpiece inspired one of most successful ballet originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus?

20. Name the comic ballet from 1870 originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to the music of Léo Delibes, with libretto by Charles-Louis-Étienne Nuitter?

21. Which legendary ballet dancer influenced changes in dance costumes by abandoning the traditional corset and dancing barefoot with exposed arms and legs?

Ballerina in a black leotard and black tutu

22. In 1913, which ballet by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky is said to have caused a ‘riot’ and is considered one of the most scandalous events in the history of performing arts?

23. Which famous ballet company was founded in 1948 by choreographers George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein?
A. The Royal Ballet.
B. Paris Opera Ballet.
C. New York City Ballet.
D. The Australian Ballet.

24. In 1934, Boris Asafyev created a ballet based on what poem written by Pushkin in 1923?

25. Which ballet technique devised by the Italian ballet master seeks to develop the essential skills of dance (balance, poise, strength, elevation, flexibility and artistry) in ballet students?

26. The birth of the modern pointe shoe is often attributed to which world-famous ballet dancer?

27. Who is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of ballet and as the “godmother” of English and Irish Ballet?

28. When Sadler’s Wells Ballet (soon to be renamed The Royal Ballet) was invited to become the resident ballet company of the Royal Opera House in 1946, what was their first production?

29. Pierina Legnani was the first ballerina ever to be awarded which prestigious title in the ballet world?

Ballerina in a blue leotard and chiffon skirt leaping on a bust street surrounded by high rise buildings

30. What was the name of the first formal court ballet performance in the world?

31. Which ballet first performed in 1890 was based on a popular fairy tale by Charles Perrault?

32. Dame Margaret “Peggy” van Praagh was the founding artistic director of which famous ballet company?

33. On 30 June 2015, which American celebrity ballet dancer became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history?

34. In 1934, which legendary ballet dancer wrote ‘Fundamentals of the Classical Dance’, which remains a standard textbook for the instruction of ballet technique?

35. Which grand ballet first presented by the Imperial Ballet in 1872 was based on an incident in the life of a legendary 18th-century French dancer?

Two child ballerinas waiting in the stage wings with bright lights behind them

36. Which legendary dancer’s Greek-inspired tunics and scarves introduced a new look to dance costumes that allowed a freedom of movement that corseted ballet costumes and pointe shoes did not?

37. Princess Aurora is a character in which famous ballet?
A. Romeo and Juliet.
B. Swan Lake.
C. The Sleeping Beauty.
D. Cinderella.

38. True or False: Ballet is an Italian word?

39. If you were a fairy, waking from sleep only to fall in love with a donkey, which Ballet would you be performing in?

40. What ballet movement means ‘Step of the Cat‘?

Large street art mural of a ballerina leaping in front of an apartment building painted on the wall

 

Ballet Terminology Quiz Questions and Answers

1. French for bent, what is the bending of knees in ballet called?
Pile.

2. ‘Allegro’ is the term applied to:
A. A bright or brisk movement. 
B. A slow movement.
C. No movement.
D. A jumping movement.

3. Literally meaning “tight or stretched” it is one of the fundamental movements in ballet where the working leg is extended along the floor until only the tip of the toe remains touching the floor. What is it called?
Tendu.

4. If a female dancer is called a Ballerina, what is a male dancer called?
A. Guy ballerina.
B. Bomballerine.
C. Male dancer.
D. Ballerino. (also known as a Danseur)

5. “Releve” means to:
A. Leap.
B. Split.
C. Raise.
D. Chasse.

6. What name is given to a type of shoe worn by ballet dancers?
A pointe shoe.

7. “Ballon” means to:
A. Bounce. 
B. Glide.
C. Float.
D. Slide.

Womans feet and ankles wearing pointe shoes, ribbons wrapped around her ankles

8. What name is given to a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together?
Pas de deux.

9. “Petit Battenment” means:
A. Big Beat.
B. Small Beat. 
C. No Beat.
D. Medium Beat.

10. What is the name given to the wooden bar that is used in a ballet class or to rehearse?
Barre

11. If you love Ballet, whether it be performing, watching, producing etc. what word describes you?
A. Balletowomane.
B. Balletomane. 
C. Balletier.
D. Balletfan

12. “En arriere” means:
A. Backwards.
B. Forwards.
C. Behind.
D. In Front.

Ballerina leaping in the air in split in an empty car park in front of a multi storey building

13. “Fondu” means:
A. Cheese, please!
B. To Twirl Around.
C. To Sink Down. 
D. To Jump Up.

14. True or False: “pirouette en dedans” means to spin outwards?
False (piroutette en dedans is to spin inwards, pirouette en dehors is to spin outwards)

15. “Saute” means:
A. Jump. 
B. Step.
C. Kick.
D. Slide.

 

Ultimate Ballet Quiz Questions and Answers (Ballerinas, Ballets, Companies etc!)

Young ballerina in a red leotard and tutu with white tights, sat cross-legged on a stage

1. In which country did Ballet originate around the 15th Century?
A. France.
B. USA.
C. England.
D. Italy.

2. Which was the first ballet ever created by a symphony composer?
Swan Lake (composed by Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky.)

3. Founded in 1776, which internationally renowned classical ballet company is among the world’s oldest ballet companies?
The Bolshoi Ballet (also known as The Russian Ballet)

4. Which meringue-based dessert is believed to have been created and named in honour of the legendary dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s?
Pavlova (named after Anna Pavlova.)

4. Which is the oldest national ballet company?
A. The Royal Ballet.
B. New York City Ballet.
C. American Ballet Theatre.
D. Paris Opera Ballet.

6. In 1653 Louis XIV created his first dance performance, “Ballet de la Nuit” or “ballet of the night.”  It was after this performance that Louis received what popular moniker?
“Le Roi de Soliel” or “The Sun King.”

7. Valentino is a 1977 American biographical film loosely based on the life of silent film actor Rudolph Valentino. Which legendary male ballet dancer portrayed the role of Rudolph Valentino in the film?
Rudolf Nureyev.

8. Which classical ballet was first performed by the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique (The Paris Opera Ballet) in Paris, France, on 28 June 1841, with Italian ballerina Carlotta Grisi?
Giselle.

Ballerina on stage

9. In October 1935, who became the first American prima ballerina to have performed in front of King George V and Queen Mary at a Royal Command Performance at the London Palladium?
Jeanne Devereaux.

10. In 1955, who became the first African-American dancer with the New York City Ballet?
Arthur Mitchell.

11. In ballet, what connects the Quarter, Platform, Throat, Vamp, Ribbon, Binding and Box?
They are all parts of a pointe shoe.

12. One of the most popular ballets of all time, which ballet tells the story of Prince Sigfried and the young Odette, who was cursed by the sorcerer von Rothbart?
Swan Lake. 

13. How many arm positions are there in ballet?
A. 7.
B. 8.
C. 5.
D. 6.

14. Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts and was brought to France by which Italian noblewoman in the 16th Century?
Catherine de’ Medici.

15. What name is given to the group of dancers who are not principal dancers or soloists but a permanent part of the ballet company and often work as a backdrop for the principal dancers?
The corps de ballet.

Pink pointe shoes on beaded chiffon fabric

16. According to a survey, major American ballet companies generate around 40% of their annual ticket revenues from the performances of which ballet originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky?
The Nutcracker.

17. Who was America’s first major prima ballerina, and the first Native American to hold the rank?
Maria Tallchief.

18. The Tutu was first introduced to the world by which celebrity ballet dancer?
A. Marie Taglioni. 
B. Margot Fonteyn.
C. Lydia Lopokova.
D. Anna Pavlova.

19. Often labelled as the first modern novel and is considered one of the greatest works ever written, which literary masterpiece inspired one of most successful ballet originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus?
Don Quixote.

20. Name the comic ballet from 1870 originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to the music of Léo Delibes, with libretto by Charles-Louis-Étienne Nuitter?
Coppélia

21. Which legendary ballet dancer influenced changes in dance costumes by abandoning the traditional corset and dancing barefoot with exposed arms and legs?
Marie Camargo.

22. In 1913, which ballet by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky is said to have caused a ‘riot’ and is considered one of the most scandalous events in the history of performing arts?
The Rite of Spring.

23. Which famous ballet company was founded in 1948 by choreographers George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein?
A. The Royal Ballet.
B. Paris Opera Ballet.
C. New York City Ballet.
D. The Australian Ballet.

Ballerina on stage in white tutu, on pojnte, her arms above her head

24. In 1934, Boris Asafyev created a ballet based on what poem written by Pushkin in 1923?
The Fountain of Bakhchisaray.

25. Which ballet technique devised by the Italian ballet master seeks to develop the essential skills of dance (balance, poise, strength, elevation, flexibility and artistry) in ballet students?
The Cecchetti Method (devised by the Italian ballet master Enrico Cecchetti.)

26. The birth of the modern pointe shoe is often attributed to which world-famous ballet dancer?
Anna Pavlova.

27. Who is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of ballet and as the “godmother” of English and Irish Ballet?
Dame Ninette de Valois.

28. When Sadler’s Wells Ballet (soon to be renamed The Royal Ballet) was invited to become the resident ballet company of the Royal Opera House in 1946, what was their first production?
The Sleeping Beauty.

29. Pierina Legnani was the first ballerina ever to be awarded which prestigious title in the ballet world?
Prima ballerina assoluta.

30. What was the name of the first formal court ballet performance in the world?
Ballet des Polonais (in 1573)

Ballet cast taking a bow on stage at the end of a performance

31. Which ballet first performed in 1890 was based on a popular fairy tale by Charles Perrault?
The Sleeping Beauty.

32. Dame Margaret “Peggy” van Praagh was the founding artistic director of which famous ballet company?
The Australian Ballet.

33. On 30 June 2015, which American celebrity ballet dancer became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history?
Misty Copeland.

34. In 1934, which legendary ballet dancer wrote ‘Fundamentals of the Classical Dance’, which remains a standard textbook for the instruction of ballet technique?
Agrippina Vaganova.

35. Which grand ballet first presented by the Imperial Ballet in 1872 was based on an incident in the life of a legendary 18th-century French dancer?
Camargo (based on the life of Marie Camargo.)

36. Which legendary dancer’s Greek-inspired tunics and scarves introduced a new look to dance costumes that allowed a freedom of movement that corseted ballet costumes and pointe shoes did not?
Isadora Duncan.

Male ballerina dressed as a rabbit performing on stage

37. Princess Aurora is a character in which famous ballet?
A. Romeo and Juliet.
B. Swan Lake.
C. The Sleeping Beauty. 
D. Cinderella.

38. True or False: Ballet is an Italian word?
Falseit is French (but is derived from the Italian word ‘balletto‘ which itself is from the Latin ‘ballo/ballare‘)

39. If you were a fairy, waking from sleep only to fall in love with a donkey, which Ballet would you be performing in?
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

40. What ballet movement means ‘Step of the Cat‘?
Pas de Chat

 

That’s a wrap on our Ballet quizzes – we hope you enjoyed our ultimate quiz about ballet and there was a good mix of easy, difficult and multiple choice questions for you to answer or to add to your own quiz! 
And as with all our quizzes, if you liked it, we would love it if you shared it with your friends or on social media!

Ballerina in a black tutu bent in half taking a bow If you enjoyed these 55 Ballet Quiz questions and answers, be sure to check out our other music trivia, sports trivia, food and drink trivia, history quiz and other popular trivia quizzes:


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