"I'll Take American Ballet Theatre for $1000, Alex"
Answer: Members of this ballet company will appear on "Jeopardy!" this Tuesday to celebrate the troupe's 75th anniversary.
"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!
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: