Rolex Arts Initiative Names Ratmansky as a Mentor
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.
It's a cycle familiar to many: First, a striking image of a lithe, impossibly fit dancer executing a gravity-defying développé catches your eye on Instagram. You pause your scrolling to marvel, over and over again, at her textbook physique.
Inevitably, you take a moment to consider your own body, in comparison. Doubt and negative self-talk first creep, and then flood, in. "I'll never look like that," the voice inside your head whispers. You continue scrolling, but the image has done its dirty work—a gnawing sensation has taken hold, continually reminding you that your own body is inferior, less-than, unworthy.
It's no stretch to say that social media has a huge effect on body image. For dancers—most of whom already have a laser-focus on their appearance—the images they see on Instagram can seem to exacerbate ever-present issues. "Social media is just another trigger," says Nadine Kaslow, a psychologist who works with the dancers of Atlanta Ballet. "And dancers don't need another trigger." In the age of Photoshop and filters, how can dancers keep body dysmorphia at bay?
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.