"I'll Take American Ballet Theatre for $1000, Alex"
"What is American Ballet Theatre?"
Correct! On May 5, one full category will be devoted to 75 years' worth of American Ballet Theatre trivia. Some of the clues will feature performance footage, and the answers will all be read by top members of the company, including Misty Copeland, Hee Seo, James Whiteside, Sarah Lane and Craig Salstein.
One day, Ballet Celebrity "Jeopardy!" will be a real thing... (Misty Copeland and Hee Seo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe; James Whiteside by Mark Schou Photography via ULM NYC; Photoshopping by yours truly)
Now, what does this mean for us, fellow ballet nerds? It's time to dust off our Alex Trebek–themed victory dances, because we're going to be doing a lot of correct-response gloating. Tuesday night is ours. OURS!
Still, the best "Jeopardy!" champs spend years practicing for the competition, so it wouldn't hurt us to warm up a little, too. Here are some clues from real "Jeopardy!" episodes.** (Hover—don't click—your mouse over each clue's category for the correct response.)
Ballet for $200: Princess Aurora pricks her finger on a spindle in act one of this 1890 ballet.
Ballet for $400: In 1973, Twyla Tharp choreographed Deuce Coupe for the Joffrey Ballet with music by this group.
Ballets Alex Could Star In for $600: It might be a drag, but I'll follow in the footsteps of Frederick Ashton and play one of the stepsisters in this classic.
Ballet for $800: Angel Corella of Spain is one of the "muy caliente" male stars of this U.S. company.
[Note/Hint: This clue originally aired 1998, before Corella was directing Pennsylvania Ballet. I just like to imagine Trebek saying "muy caliente!"]
Ballet for $1000: Agnes de Mille's ballet Fall River Legend was based on the case of this accused murderess.
You Should Be in a Ballet! for $2000: Your Romeo and Juliet will make everyone forget the 1965 triumph of Rudolf Nureyev & this partner.
Ballet & Opera for $2000: In a classic ballet by Adolphe Adam, she's the title peasant girl with a weak heart and a passion for dancing.
Now for the Final Jeopardy! round...
American Ballet: Characters in this 1942 ballet include the head wrangler and the champion roper.
The Oscars: Both "The Color Purple" and this 1977 ballet drama got 18 nominations—and no Oscars.
How'd you do? Tune in to "Jeopardy!" on May 5 for the real thing!
**As luck would have it, some very, very, very big "Jeopardy!" fans maintain a VAST episode and clue archive on the interwebs. Thanks, j-archive.com!
Misty Copeland. Her name is synonymous with exquisite artistry and outspoken advocacy. And her visibility has made a huge impact on the ballet world. Ballet's relationship with race has always been strained at best, hostile at worst. But Copeland's persistent message and star quality have finally forced the ballet industry to start talking about racial diversity, inclusivity, and representation. "The rarity of seeing ourselves represented is sad," Copeland says. "The more we see every hue and body shape represented on the stage, the more possibilities young dancers feel they have for themselves."
"Whole, low-fat, or skim?" The question of which milk to drink has gotten a little more complicated lately, with a wide variety of nondairy milks popping up in grocery stores. To find out which ones are worth your milk money, we had registered dietitian Monika Saigal answer some FAQs.
Yesterday, the dance community was heartbroken to learn that Jaime Guttenberg and Cara Loughran, both 14-year-old dancers, were among the 17 people killed on Valentine's Day in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane charms audiences with her bright energy and crisp technique. The San Francisco, CA, native first started dancing at age 4 at a local community center, and at age 7 started training in Memphis, TN, at the Classical Ballet Memphis. Her family later moved to Rochester, NY, where she continued studying at the Draper Center for Dance Education. In 2002, she was a YoungArts Foundation winner in dance, allowing her to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 2003, was made a soloist in 2007, and was promoted to principal last fall. Recently, she originated the role of Princess Praline in Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream. Catch her later this spring during ABT's Metropolitan Opera season. —Courtney Bowers
You and I both know that dancing is the best thing since chocolate chip cookies! But its always nice when dance gets the recognition it deserves from non–dance-world peeps. That's why we did our own happy dance when we saw Shape magazine's article on how dancing can actually make you a better athlete.
When Ruby Castro became a Top 10 finalist on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 13, she was a fresh, feisty new face to most at-home viewers. But in the dance world—particularly on the ballroom circuit—Ruby was already a household name. Miami-based Ruby grew up as a belle of the ballroom: Her parents, Manny and Lory Castro, are veritable superstars of the scene. They're the owners of Dance Town, an ultra-competitive studio in Doral, FL, and raised Ruby to follow in their furiously fast footsteps. Before she graced the "SYT" stage, Ruby had already been named a U.S. Junior Champion in Latin Ballroom, and competed on "America's Got Talent"—twice!
So, we know she's talented, we know she's versatile, we know she's stunning, and we know she can dance. But here's what you may not know about Ruby.
You know that thing when you're onstage at a competition and you catch your teacher unconsciously marking through every step of the choreography in the wings, just willing you and the rest of the group to dance perfectly?
Yeah—that happens in ice dancing, too. Case in point: the scene at the Olympic rink yesterday, as Canadian ice-dancing legends Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir skated their way to their third Olympic gold.
Obviously, their performance was all kinds of epic. But the off-ice "performance" given by their coach, Marie-France Dubreuil, was EVERYTHING.
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I want to dance in a ballet company, but I'm insecure about my body. I'm not skinny, and I don't think I ever will be, because that's just not the way I'm built. Please be honest with me: If I don't have the traditional ballet body, do I have a future in professional ballet?