Devon Carney, Artistic Director of the Kansas City Ballet, 2015 Conservatory Commencement Speaker


The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to announce that Devon Carney, Artistic Director of the Kansas City Ballet will give the commencement address at the 2015 Conservatory Commencement.  Mr. Carney was appointed Artistic Director of Kansas City Ballet starting with the 2013–2014 season. He created Opus I, a production that encompassed the entire company, in October 2013. He provided choreography for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Die Fledermaus in April 2014.

Conservatory Dean Peter Witte notes, “The Kansas City Ballet and the Conservatory's dance program are siblings, both nurtured by the same founder, Tatiana Dokoudovska. Naturally, the bond between our organizations is familial, something Devon Carney saw straight away. Mr. Carney is an artist, collaborator, and leader with an eye toward the future—we look forward to celebrating his gifts along with those of our graduates at commencement.”

During his 21-year professional dance career, Mr. Carney performed many leading roles in well-known classical ballets such as Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty and Raymonda Act III. Mr. Carney had the opportunity also to perform leading roles in 20th century classical works, including John Cranko’s Onegin and Taming of the Shrew, Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Bruce Wells’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Harald Lander’s Etudes, and Anthony Tudor’s Lilac Garden.  Mr. Carney recently staged Giselle for Kansas City Ballet, ahd choreographed the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's La traviata, Sept. 2014.

Carney has also danced roles choreographed by cutting-edge choreographers, including Maurice Bejart’s Le Sacre du Printemps, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Merce Cunningham’s Breakers, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Monotones 1, Elisa Monte’s VII for VIII, Mark Morris’ Mort Subite, Susan Marshall’s Overture, and Daniel Pelzig’s Nine Lives: Songs of Lyle Lovett. His George Balanchine repertoire includes principal roles in Square Dance, Serenade, Agon, Who Cares?, Allegro Brillante, Mozartiana, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Rubies, La Sonnambula, The Four Temperaments, and Theme and Variations.

Mr. Carney served as Ballet Master for Boston Ballet 1998–2003. He was most recently the Associate Artistic Director of Cincinnati Ballet and had been with the Cincinnati Ballet since 2003. During his tenure with the Cincinnati Ballet he created more than 15 works for the main company.  He had the opportunity to work closely with choreographers Donald Byrd, Lynn Taylor Corbett, Jorma Elo, Victor Kabanieav, Trey McIntyre, Donald McKayle, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Kirk Peterson, Viktor Plotnikov and many others during this time.

UMKC’s Conservatory Commencement, 10 a.m., May 16, 2015, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Helzberg Hall.  Tickets, 816-235-6222.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949