Kevin O’Hare is Director of The Royal Ballet. Appointed in July 2012 following the retirement of Monica Mason, he is responsible for driving the artistic direction of the Company. He is committed to the promotion of outstanding creativity and artistic excellence, developing talent and widening the Company’s performing platform.
O’Hare was born in Yorkshire. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and, through an exchange programme, with Royal Danish Ballet. He began his performing career with The Royal Ballet’s sister company Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, and stayed with that company as a Principal during its transformation into Birmingham Royal Ballet. During this time he performed extensively in the UK and internationally, including as a guest artist with many leading companies. His repertory included all the leading classical roles, such as Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Albrecht (Giselle) and Romeo (in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s first performance of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet). O’Hare worked with many leading figures in the ballet world, including Ninette de Valois, Peter Wright, Frederick Ashton, MacMillan and David Bintley, and created several roles, including Amynta (Bintley’s Sylvia). He also produced many galas and choreographic evenings.
O’Hare retired from the stage in 2000, entering into a traineeship in company management with the Royal Shakespeare Company. This led to the post of Company Director with Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2001, and in 2004 he joined The Royal Ballet as Company Manager. He was made Administrative Director in 2009 before being appointed to his current role. In 2015 he was appointed to the board of Northern Ballet.
The Creatory interviewed Kevin O'Hare during his recent Australian visit. We invite you to watch our five-part series, where Kevin discusses what it’s like to lead an iconic company, diversifying from dancer to Director, how Woolf Works and The Winter’s Tale came to be, and how creatives like Wayne McGregor innovate in a traditional art form:
Kevin discusses the challenge of transforming the writings of Virginia Woolf into a full-length ballet, and how Wayne McGregor's choreography and Max Richter's score translate Woolf's lyrical style into dance and music:
Themes of jealousy, love and redemption in Shakespeare's 'problem play' The Winter's Tale proved a tempting challenge for The Royal Ballet.
What comes after? From dancer to director, Kevin O’Hare reveals how he diversified from dancing with The Royal Ballet to leading the company as Artistic Director.
Nijinsky or Nureyev? Laser lights or confetti? Kevin O'Hare answers our quick-fire questions: