Kevin Haigen, born in Miami (Florida) in 1954, received his first training from Diana Avery and Martha Mahr. At the age of 15, he received a scholarship to the School of American Ballet (SAB) and moved to New York, where Suki Schorer and Stanley Williams, among others, became his teachers. During his training at SAB, he choreographed his first work.
At 17, he brought “Les Sylphides” to the stage for the Royal Danish Ballet with Erik Bruhn. Under his direction, he became part of the American Ballet Theatre in 1970, working with choreographers including Agnes De Mille, Anthony Tudor, Rudolf Nureyev, Jerome Robbins, Glen Tetley and John Neumeier.
In 1975, under the artistic direction of Glen Tetley, he was a dancer with the Stuttgart Ballet. Seeking to work with a living choreographer, he was able to become part of John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet in 1976 and advanced to First Soloist a year later. In the following years he worked closely with John Neumeier. The latter created many solos and roles for him, including Joseph in “Joseph’s Legend”, Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Petrushka”. Kevin Haigen moved to the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1984, where he worked with Jirí Kylián, Christopher Bruce, William Forsythe and Nacho Duato.
In 1985 he became ballet master, teacher and guest artist for the newly formed Ballets de Monte Carlo under the direction of Ghislaine Thesmar and Pierre Lacotte. During this time he choreographed “Young Apollo”, a commissioned work for Prince Rainier’s birthday. In 1986 he joined Peter Schaufuss London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet). A year later he became teacher and first soloist of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, which had just been created. With Maurice Béjart he created “La Valse”, “Mozart Tango” and the role of Alberich in “Ring around the Ring”.
In 1991 he returned to Hamburg Ballet as ballet master and pedagogue of the affiliated ballet school. In 2006 he was appointed First Ballet Master here and in 2011 he additionally took over the position of Artistic and Pedagogical Director of the National Youth Ballet.
He created the role Armand with Marcia Haydée in “The Lady of the Camellias” for the Hamburg premiere and has since assisted John Neumeier in rehearsing the ballet around the world. He also works internationally as a guest teacher. However, he is most inspired by the current evolution of his work: teaching creative thinkers and doers and communicating that the art of ballet is a journey that never ends.