Russian choreographer receives MacArthur ‘genius’ grant

Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky is one of the 24 fellows of the John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation to receive a grant, the total sum of which is $625,000, to be paid quarterly for five consecutive years. In 2012, the MacArthur grant, which is also called “the genius grant,” was $500,000.

Besides Ratmansky, in 2013, a few other people from the arts and culture sphere received the aforementioned grant. Among them is New York choreographer Kyle Abraham, writer and concert pianist Jeremy Denk, jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer, Chicago playwright Tarell McCraney, writer Karen Russell, and photographer and video artist Cary Mae Weems.

From 2004 to 2008, Alexei Ratmansky was head of the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet in Moscow, Russia. Then, in 2009, he was invited to the American Ballet Theatre to work as a choreographer. In the famous New York theatre, he choreographed the “Shostakovich Trilogy” (the Ninth Symphony, Chamber Symphony, Piano Concerto № 1), “Dumbarton,” “Seven Sonatas,” “Firebird,” “The Bright Stream” and “On the Dnieper.” 

Alexei Ratmansky dancing Tarantella. Source: Youtube

The 2013 American Ballet Theatre season will open with a special premiere of Shakespeare's “The Tempest,” with choreography by Ratmansky and music by Ian Sibelius. At the same time, the choreographer is working in other world-renowned theatres, including The New York City Ballet, The Dutch National Ballet and the Mariinsky Theatre. In addition, during summer 2013, it became known that the Bolshoi Theatre offered Ratmansky work on a “grand multistep project.”

John and Catherine's MacArthur Grant is annually given to 20–40 citizens or residents of the United States. The fellows can work in any sphere of their choosing. The main criterion in the selection of fellows is that they have achieved “exceptional results and have potential for long and productive creative work.”

First published in Russian in

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