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The Company

Leadership

Photo: Fabrizio Ferri

Kevin McKenzie

Artistic Director
Hamilton E. James Chair

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Photo: Larry Busacca.

Janet Rollé

CEO and Executive Director
Effective January 3, 2022

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Photo: Fabrizio Ferri.

Kevin McKenzie

Artistic Director,
Hamilton E. James Chair

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

As a Principal Dancer with ABT, McKenzie danced leading roles in all of the major full-length classics including Solor in Natalia Makarova’s full‑length production of La Bayadère, Don Jose in Roland Petit’s Carmen, the Prince in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s production of the full‑length Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, the Gentleman With Her in Dim Lustre, Basil and Espada in Baryshnikov’s Don Quixote (Kitri’s Wedding), Albrecht in Giselle, a leading role in The Garden of Villandry, Her Lover in Jardin aux Lilas, the male lead in The Leaves Are Fading, the Friend in Pillar of Fire, the leading role in Raymonda (Grand Pas Hongrois), a featured role in Requiem, the Champion Roper in Rodeo, Romeo and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, James in La Sylphide, and leading roles in Other Dances, Paquita, Les Sylphides, Sylvia Pas de Deux, and Theme and Variations. He created 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 appeared as a Guest Artist throughout the world, including in 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, assumed the position of Artistic Associate.  He has also acted as Associate Artistic Director and choreographer with Martine 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 (l991) both for Martine van Hamel’s New Amsterdam Ballet, Lucy and the Count (1992) for The Washington Ballet and, for American Ballet Theatre, The Nutcracker (1993), Don Quixote (1995, in collaboration with Susan Jones) a new production of Swan Lake (2000), the conception and direction of a new production of Raymonda (2004, with choreography by Anna-Marie Holmes), and a new production of The Sleeping Beauty with Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov.  In 2014, McKenzie, with ABT Principal Repetiteur Irina Kolpakova, staged a new production of Raymonda Divertissements.

McKenzie has received numerous awards including honorary degrees from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont (1993) and Adelphi University in Garden City, New York (2019), the Dance Magazine Award (1999), and the Medal of Honor for Achievement in Dance from the National Arts Club (2019).  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’s Dance in America series.  McKenzie is a founding board member of Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, New York.

In 2017, American Ballet Theatre celebrated McKenzie’s 25th Anniversary as Artistic Director.

Photo: Larry Busacca.

Janet Rollé

CEO and Executive Director

Effective January 3, 2022

Janet Rollé was appointed CEO and Executive Director at American Ballet Theatre effective January 3, 2022. She joined ABT after serving over five years as General Manager at Parkwood Entertainment, the media and management company founded by entertainer and entrepreneur, Beyoncé. During her tenure at Parkwood, Rollé led all business operations for the company which houses departments in music, film, video, live performances and concert production, artist management, business development, marketing, digital, creative, philanthropy, and publicity. Her role included oversight of strategic partnerships, legal and business affairs, marketing, finance, human resources, archive, and information technology for all Parkwood businesses and artists. She was Associate Producer of Beyoncé’s history-making performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (2018) and of the subsequent Emmy® Award-winning film distributed by Netflix, Homecoming (2019). She was an Executive Producer of the Emmy®-winning film Black Is King.

Rollé previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at CNN Worldwide, leading a staff of 110 and overseeing the promotion of all CNN brands and programming. Rollé was the first Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of BET Networks and has also served in senior positions at AOL, MTV Networks, and HBO. She serves on the board of directors of BuzzFeed, Inc. and Hallmark Cards, Inc. In addition, Rollé was previously a Presidential Appointee and member of the Nominating Committee of the United States Tennis Association.

Rollé received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the State University of New York at Purchase and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. She was named “10 Who Made Their Mark” and a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age magazine. She is the recipient of the Institute for Caribbean Studies Trailblazer Award and the Pat Tobin Media Professional Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. She was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from The University of the West Indies.