The American Kevin O’Day was born in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2002 he was appointed artistic director of the Nationaltheater Mannheim Ballett, renamed Kevin O’Day Ballett NTM. From 2013 to 2016 he held the position of Ballett Intendant and Deputy Operating Manager. Beginning season 2018/2019 he holds the position of Artist in Residence of the Tanzcompany Mainfranken Theater Würzburg.
As a choreographer, O’Day has produced more than seventy original ballets. He has been commissioned to create works for the New York City Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Stuttgarter Ballett, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, Ballet Argentino, The Royal Danish Ballet, ProArteDanza, BalletX, Ballett im Revier, Ballett Augsburg, Ballett Nordhausen and Visceral Dance Chicago, among others.
O’Day received his early dance training at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. After one year he joined the Joffrey II, and the following year, he became a member of the main company of the Joffrey Ballet. In the winter of 1984, O’Day began his long association with choreographer Twyla Tharp. From 1988 to 1991, he was a soloist with American Ballet Theatre, where he performed in a wide variety of featured roles both in the classical and contemporary repertoire.
In 1991 he joined William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet, and from 1992 until 1995 he was a member of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. During that time he appeared frequently as a guest with the New York City Ballet. In 1994 Mikhail Baryshnikov invited O’Day to choreograph a new work for the White Oak Dance Project, marking his choreographic debut. In 1998 O’Day formed his own company, O’Day Dances, in collaboration with composer John King.
O’Day has been the recipient of numerous awards and nominations for his choreography. In 2000 he was nominated for an MTV video music award for best choreography in a video for So Pure
by Alanis Morissette. Full Bloom
, a piece choreographed by O’Day, Robert Glumbek and Luches Huddleston Jr., was nominated for the Canadian Dora Mavor Moore Award in 2010. In the same year O’Day was the first to be awarded the Koerner Award by the Canadian Banff Centre.