History Quiz: Peter Gennaro
April 1, 2010

 1.    True or False: Gennaro was resentful that Jerome Robbins refused him full choreographic credit for his work in West Side Story.


2.    What was the most unique aspect of Gennaro’s career?


3.    Name Gennaro’s three trademarks.


4.    Gennaro first head jazz music at _____ _____ _____ _____.


5.    How old was Gennaro when he began winning Charleston dance competitions?


6.    True or False: During WWII, while stationed in India, Gennaro worked with Melvin Douglas in a troupe that entertained the Allied troupes.


7.    Which famous modern dancer did Gennaro use his GI bill to study under?


8.    What famous actress and soon-to-be princess studied with Gennaro?


9.    Name Gennaro’s breakthrough performance role.


10.    Gennaro won a Tony Award and an Oscar for best choreography for the stage and screen versions of _____.





1. False;  2. He helped popularize dance through the relatively new medium of television, introducing audiences across America to the inherent sensuality of jazz dance.;  3. Quick hips, fast footwork and a jaunty physical sense of humor;  4. New Orleans jazz funerals;  5. Age five;  6. True;  7. Katherine Dunham and her chief teacher Syvilla Fort;  8. Grace Kelly;  9. “Steam Heat” in Fosse’s 1954 Pajama Game;  10. Annie


Read the full Peter Gennaro article here.





“Conversation with Peter Gennaro,” by Lydia Joel. Dance Magazine, August 1964, 18–19.

“Jazz Dance,” by Bill Mahoney. Oxford International Dictionary of Dance, New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

“Jazz Dance: From Its Origins to the Present,” by Renato Berger. Ballett International, February 1990, 18–24.


Anthology of American Jazz Dance, by Gus Giordano. Evanston, Illinois: Orion Publishing House, 1975.

Broadway Musicals, by Martin Gottfried. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1984.

Jazz Dance: The Story of American Vernacular Dance, by Marshall and Jean Stearns. New York: Da Capo Press, 1984.


Annie, by John Huston. Columbia Pictures, 1982.

West Side Story, by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. United Artists, 1961.

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