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The Company

Leadership

Leadership

Photo: Fabrizio Ferri

Kevin McKenzie

Artistic Director
Hamilton E. James Chair

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Photo: Chris Taggart

Kara Medoff Barnett

Executive Director

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Photo: Fabrizio Ferri.

Kevin McKenzie

Artistic Director,
Hamilton E. James Chair

A native of Vermont, Kevin McKenzie received his ballet training at the Washington School of Ballet. In 1972, Mr. McKenzie was awarded a Silver medal at the Sixth International Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. He was a leading dancer with both the National Ballet of Washington and The Joffrey Ballet before joining American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in March 1979. McKenzie was appointed a Principal Dancer the following December and danced with the Company until 1991.

As a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, McKenzie performed leading roles in all the major full-length classics including Solor in La Bayadère, Don Jose in Carmen, the Prince in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s production of the full-length Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, Basil and Espada in Don Quixote (Kitri’s Wedding), Albrecht in Giselle, Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, and James in La Sylphide. His repertoire also includes the Gentleman With Her in Dim Lustre, Her Lover in Jardin aux Lilas, the Friend in Pillar of Fire, the Champion Roper in Rodeo, leading roles in The Garden of Villandry, The Leaves Are Fading, Other Dances, Paquita, Raymonda (Grand Pas Hongrois), Les Sylphides, Sylvia Pas de Deux and Theme and Variations, and a featured role in Requiem. He created the role of Amnon in Martine van Hamel’s Amnon V’Tamar and a leading role in Clark Tippet’s S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A.

During his performing career, McKenzie performed as a guest artist in cities throughout the world, including Spoleto, Italy, Paris, London, Tokyo, Havana, Moscow, Vienna and Korea, dancing with, among others, the London Festival Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, the National Ballet of Cuba and the Universal Ballet in Seoul. In September 1989, McKenzie was appointed a permanent guest artist with The Washington Ballet, and, in 1991, he was named Artistic Associate of that company. He also acted as Associate Artistic Director and a choreographer for van Hamel’s New Amsterdam Ballet.

McKenzie was appointed Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre in October 1992. His previous choreographic credits include Groupo Zambaria (1984) and Liszt Études (1991), both for van Hamel’s New Amsterdam Ballet, and Lucy and the Count (1992) for The Washington Ballet. His choreography for ABT includes the full-length classics The Nutcracker (1993), a new production of Swan Lake (2000), and a new production of The Sleeping Beauty (2007, with Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov). His staging credits include Don Quixote (1995, in collaboration with Susan Jones), Raymonda (2004, with choreography by Anna-Marie Holmes), and a new production of Raymonda Divertissements (2014, with Irina Kolpakova).

McKenzie holds honorary degrees of Doctor of Arts from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont (1993) and Doctor of Fine Arts from Adelphi University (2019). He received the Dance Magazine Award in 1999. In addition, he appeared in two Emmy Award winning broadcasts, The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore (1970) and American Ballet Theatre in Le Corsaire (1998) both for PBS’ Dance in America series. McKenzie is a founding board member of Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, New York.

Photo: Chris Taggart.

Kara Medoff Barnett

Executive Director

Kara Medoff Barnett was appointed Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company, in February 2016 following nearly nine years as a senior executive at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. At ABT, Barnett has advanced innovation and inclusion, supporting a robust slate of new productions and increasing diversity in the training pipeline. Since 2016, the Company has performed in Paris, Muscat, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Singapore and Hong Kong, bringing extraordinary art to audiences worldwide.

During her tenure at Lincoln Center, Barnett served as Director of Strategy and Business Development and Senior Director of the Capital Campaign for the transformative redevelopment of Lincoln Center’s iconic 16-acre campus. In 2012, Barnett became the founding Managing Director of Lincoln Center International (LCI), established to extend Lincoln Center’s brand, facilitate artistic exchange, and advise government leaders, philanthropists, and developers on the planning and management of cultural infrastructure projects around the globe. Under Barnett’s leadership, LCI launched the Lincoln Center Global Exchange, an annual conference for international leaders and change agents to advance the role of art and culture in addressing critical challenges facing our collective future.

Barnett has produced plays on and off Broadway, and she received a Tony® Award for the 2003 Broadway revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing, a member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Board and a 2015 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. In 2014, she was named as a member of “40 Under 40” in Crain’s New York Business.

Barnett attended Duke University on a Trinity Scholarship, graduating summa cum laude, and received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.