KC Metropolis reporter Laura Vernaci sat down with new Artistic Director Devon Carney for a Q&A session. Read the article below to learn more about Mr. Carney, his goals for Kansas City Ballet and his interest in technology.
By Laura Vernaci, Wed. Aug. 14: The Kansas City Ballet’s Artistic Director Devon Carney, comes to Kansas City from the Cincinnati Ballet where he has spent roughly a decade of his career. In 2003, he was appointed chief ballet master, and was named associate artistic director in 2008.Prior to Cincinnati, Carney was a company dancer with Boston Ballet. Joining their second company in 1978, he became a principal dancer with the main company eight years later.
Laura Vernaci: Why don’t we start with how you’ve made your journey to Kansas City.
Devon Carney: Journey is an understatement, seriously. [Laughs] It’s ongoing. The journey is not complete by any means. There was the interview process… Actually let me go back a little further when it comes to Kansas City sort of showing up on my horizon. There was the announcement that Bill [Whitener] was going to be resigning in a year. And I thought that was cool that Kansas City Ballet was going to make that extensive of a transitional period. I thought that was really great because it gave the company and the community time to kind of ingest this. I mean he’s been here for 17 years and that’s a long commitment level for an artist to stay put in one place for that many years. I respect him highly for dedicating that much of his artistic life to Kansas City, as did his predecessor. So to give it a year – that was the first thing I saw about Kansas City. I had already been following them on their Facebook page and I think they were one of the first cities, or first ballet companies, to have an app.
LV: I didn’t even know they had an app. I’ll have to check it out.
DC: There have been many more but Kansas City was one of the first ones. I was always getting apps trying to see the dance companies.
LV: So you’re tech savvy?
DC: Yeah, I love it. Ever since my high school years of – you probably won’t even know what this is. It’s when computers had tape, punch tape; the paper tape roles with all of the holes on it. That was the program and I thought it was the coolest, most high tech thing in the world. You put this piece of tape in here and click, click, click on an IBM. And of course, where we’ve gone from there is amazing.
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