Movado Future Legends Honors Five Emerging Artists of Exceptional Talent

October 23, 2006 at 10:01 AM EDT

~ Jazz at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center, The School of American Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater each to award a 'Movado Future Legend' ~

PARAMUS, N.J., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Movado Group, Inc. (NYSE: MOV), Movado is proud to announce the "Movado Future Legends," a unique initiative that will help nurture a future generation of artists with exceptional abilities and a commitment to their craft. Five of this country's most prestigious arts institutions have been invited to identify a "Movado Future Legend" - an individual still studying, but undoubtedly on the path to becoming a major force in his or her field. Recipients of this award include jazz pianist Jonathan Batiste selected by Jazz at Lincoln Center, mezzo soprano Isabel Leonard selected by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts at the recommendation of The Juilliard School, dancer Kathryn Morgan selected by the School of American Ballet, dancer Aaron Rogers selected by The Joffrey Ballet, and Ailey II dancer Tyrell V. Rolle selected by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Movado has long been renowned for its support of the arts. "We are pleased to introduce the Movado Future Legends awards in celebration of our 125th anniversary. Our brand is celebrating 125 years of artistry and artistic innovation," said Efraim Grinberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Movado Group, Inc. "We are excited to support the next generation of exceptional talent and to build on our commitment to some of the world's leading artistic institutions."

The Movado Future Legends will each receive a custom-designed crystal award of two interlocking circles symbolizing commitment and representing Movado's dedication to supporting new talent. These artists will also receive a stipend to support their artistic efforts and an M/125 watch from Movado's 125th anniversary collection. In the coming months, each institution will host a private and intimate awards ceremony to celebrate the artistry of the recipient they have selected and who is on the road to becoming a legend.

These five talents, who have each exhibited exceptional levels of artistic excellence, have already begun to make their mark in their respective fields:

Jonathan Batiste is one of the most exciting young artists to hit the jazz scene in years. A 19-year old pianist who is a native of New Orleans presently studying at The Juilliard School, Mr. Batiste already has over 10 years of onstage experience, starting as a percussionist, then becoming pianist in his family's group, the Batiste Brothers Band. Since age 16, Batiste has performed with some of New Orleans's most outstanding musicians, including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Irvin Mayfield, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Batiste, and Cyril Neville, as well as David "Fathead" Newman, Maraca, Louis Hayes, Goapele, and South Africa's musicians Ernie Smith, Prince Kupi, and Musa Manzani. His CDs include "Times in New Orleans," and "Live in New York: At the Rubin Museum," both released on Louisiana Music Factory. In 2004, Mr. Batiste graduated from the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). Since his arrival in New York, he has already begun to make his mark on the music scene, performing around the city with his group and others and making his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2005 and at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2006.

Isabel Leonard is a mezzo-soprano who is already making waves in the classical music world. During the 2006-2007 season, she made her New York Philharmonic debut in Ravel's "L'Enfant et Les Sortileges," conducted by Lorin Maazel. She also made her American professional stage debut as Stephano in Atlanta's production of Gounod's "Romeo and Juliette," and her European stage debut as Zerlina in the Opera National de Bordeaux's production of "Don Giovanni." In 2006, she performed with Barbara Bonney in an Alice Tully Hall recital presented by The Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, and was the soloist in De Falla's "The Three Cornered Hat" with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Leonard is the recipient of a 2005 Marilyn Horne Foundation Award and a 2006 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Award. A native of New York, she received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at The Juilliard School, studying with Edith Bers and continues in Juilliard's Opera Center. Ms. Leonard has also studied with Marilyn Horne, Brian Zeger, Warren Jones, and Margo Garrett.

Kathryn Morgan, 18, enrolled as a fulltime student at the School of American Ballet, the official academy of New York City Ballet, in 2004. In June of 2006, SAB Artistic Director and NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins invited Ms. Morgan to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet; and she made her debut with the company in July, dancing the principal role in the Romeo and Juliet pas de deux. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Ms. Morgan performed several principal parts in the School of American Ballet's annual Workshop Performances in both 2005 (Western Symphony and 28 Variations on a Theme by Paganini) and 2006 (Scenes de Ballet and Bourree Fantasque), and performed the principal female role in Scenes de Ballet at the New York State Theater during New York City Ballet's 2006 winter and spring seasons. In 2006, Ms. Morgan was one of four students to receive the School's annual Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise.

Aaron Rogers joined The Joffrey Ballet as an Arpino Apprentice in August 2004. Prior to The Joffrey, Mr. Rogers performed with Contemporary Dance Theatre and Cerqua Rivera Art Experience. He completed a year of school at Pointe Park University performing works by Margo Sappington (Danzon), Daniel Ezralow (Read My Hips), and Alan Hineline (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow). Mr. Rogers his training at the Dance Theatre of Elgin under Margaret Palmer, Dixon Dance Academy with Cathy Dixon, and Faughborg School of Ballet under Watmora Casey. Originally from Elgin, Illinois, Mr. Rogers appeared in the first Chicago production of The Joffrey's Nutcracker as a party boy in 1997. During his time with The Joffrey, Mr. Rogers has performed in Le Sacre du Printemps, Petrouchka, and The Nutcracker.

Tyrell V. Rolle is a current member of Ailey II, the acclaimed junior company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has worked with choreographers Terrence Green, Dianne McIntyre, Christopher Huggins, Robert Battle and Alonzo King, and is the recipient of a NAACP ACT-SO Competition in Dance, a First Lady award and a Level 1 ARTS award given by the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts. Originally from Key West, Florida, Mr. Rolle 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. He began his dance training with Shannon Haynes at Miami Northwestern Senior High School PAVAC Dance Program and The Miami Conservatory under the direction of Ruth Weizen.

Movado Group, Inc. designs, manufactures, and distributes Movado, Ebel, Concord, ESQ, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, HUGO BOSS and Juicy Couture watches worldwide, and operates Movado boutiques and company stores in the United States. The Company plans to launch LACOSTE watches in the spring of 2007.

SOURCE Movado Group, Inc. -0- 10/23/2006 /CONTACT: Jill Golden, Vice President, Public Relations of Movado Group, Inc., +1-201-267-8000 / /Web site: / (MOV)