"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!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.