What is a mentor? A teacher? A protector? A guide? A master? An editor? A coach? A fresh eye? All these things. The 2015 class of Rolex artistic protégés will remember what their distinguished mentors have taught them: To trust themselves. To be fearless. To get joy from difficulty. To bring narrative to a project. To rehearse in a hallway for three days and not be afraid. To juggle. To avoid being academic or theoretical. To become more "wild". To work hard. To question their identity. To use all five senses. To learn that to be an artist is a solitary journey, most often a frightening one.
It was a global nail-biter last week, but after Scotland voted to uphold their often rocky 300-year union with England, Mark Morris' The Muir and A Wooden Tree, which opened his troupe's season at Cal Performances in Berkeley last night, proved a graceful though decidedly eccentric salute to that proud nation, tinged with melancholy and regret.