Today, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative announced that Alexei Ratmansky will be one of the seven master artists participating in its mentor/protégé program in the coming year. This is the 11th year of Rolex’s biannual program; since 2002, mentoring choreographers have included JiÅ™í Kylián, William Forsythe, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Trisha Brown. (Cool fact: This year’s theater mentor is lighting design guru Jennifer Tipton—a 1991 Dance Magazine Award recipient. Ratmansky also received a DM Award in 2011.)
So, what happens next: The Rolex Arts Initiative will nominate three exemplary candidates to serve as Ratmansky’s protégé, and Ratmansky will then choose which young artist he’d like to work with for the six-week period. In addition to his or her mentor's guidance, each protégé will receive a large grant—25,000 Swiss francs—to participate in the program, and potentially another 25000 francs to complete a new work.
The protégés won’t be announced until mid 2014, but I think it may be safe to place a few bets on those in the limelight. Justin Peck? Michelle Dorrance? Kyle Abraham? Liam Scarlett? It could be one of those four well-deserving candidates’ years to shine—I’d be surprised if their names didn’t at least come up in the discussions.