"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!