Kevin McKenzie

(b. 1954)

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(b Burlington, Vt., 29 Apr. 1954)

US dancer, choreographer, and ballet director. He studied at the Washington School of Ballet (1967–72) with Mary Day, and with Maggie Black in New York. He danced with the National Ballet of Washington (1972–4), with City Center Joffrey Ballet (1974–8), and with American Ballet Theatre (1979–89). He also performed as a guest artist with many companies around the world, including the Bolshoi and London Festival Ballet, and was with Nureyev and Friends in 1988. Although a talented dancer he created few roles, among them the Young Man in MacMillan's Wild Boy (Washington, 1981) and to some extent his career was overshadowed by Baryshnikov, who arrived at ABT at the same time. He danced most of the lead classical roles, often with van Hamel and was also acclaimed in the works of Antony Tudor. In 1990–1 he was artistic associate of Washington Ballet, and from 1984 was choreographer and associate artistic director of van Hamel's New Amsterdam Ballet for which he created several works including Zamboria (1984). He became artistic director of American Ballet Theatre in 1992, where he is credited with revitalizing the company. He has brought new works into the repertory by choreographers including Morris, Taylor, and Tharp, appointing Ratmansky as artistic associate in 2008 and subsequently resident choreographer. He has staged productions of the classics including Don Quixote (1995), Swan Lake (2000), and Sleeping Beauty (2007) and overseen the opening of the new company school.

Subjects: Dance.

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