The company invited five prominent US arts institutions each to identify a young performer (still studying) of exceptional talent and promise. The process led last week to the announcement of the first five Movado Future Legends:
- jazz pianist Jonathan Batiste (nominated by Jazz at Lincoln Center),
- mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (selected by Lincoln Center
on the recommendation of The Juilliard School),
- dancer Kathryn Morgan (School of American Ballet),
- dancer Aaron Rogers (The Joffrey Ballet), and
- Tyrell V. Rolle (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater).
Each of the Movado Future Legends will receive a stipend to support his/her artistic efforts, plus a custom-designed crystal award and an M/125 watch from Movado's 125th anniversary collection.
Nineteen-year-old New Orleans native and jazz pianist Jonathan Batiste is currently studying at Juilliard. He already has over 10 years of onstage experience as a percussionist and pianist in his family's group, the Batiste Brothers Band and has performed with musicians including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Irvin Mayfield and Nicholas Payton.
Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, a New York native, recently made her New York Philharmonic debut in Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortilges, conducted by Lorin Maazel. She is the recipient of a 2005 Marilyn Horne Foundation Award and a 2006 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Award. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from Juilliard and continues to study at the Juilliard Opera Center.
Alabama native Kathryn Morgan, 18, enrolled as a full-time student at the School of American Ballet in 2004 and became an apprentice with the New York City Ballet in June; she made her company debut in July dancing the title role in the Romeo and Juliet pas de deux.
Illinois native Aaron Rogers joined the Joffrey Ballet as an apprentice in August 2004; previously, he performed with Contemporary Dance Theatre and Cerqua Rivera Art Experience. During his time with the Joffrey, he has performed in Le Sacre du printemps, Petrouchka, and The Nutcracker.
Tyrell V. Rolle, a Florida native, is presently a member of Ailey II, the junior company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has received scholarships to The School at Jacob's Pillow, Dance Theater of Harlem, Miami City Ballet, Alonzo King's Lines Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and studied as a fellowship student at The Ailey School.