Kevin Haigen, born in Miami (Florida), received his first training from Diana Avery and Martha Mahr. At the age of fifteen, he got a scholarship to the School of American Ballet and moved to New York, where Suki Schorer and Stanley Williams, among others, became his teachers. During his training, 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 roles for him, including Joseph in Josephs Legende, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Petrushka. In 1984 Kevin Haigen moved to the Nederlands Dans Theater, where he worked with Jiří 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 the 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 founded. 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 a ballet master and pedagogue of the affiliated ballet school. In 2006 he was appointed First Ballet Master and in 2011 he additionally took over the position of Artistic and Pedagogical Director of the National Youth Ballet. He also works internationally as a guest teacher.
He created the role Armand with Marcia Haydée in Lady of the Camellias for the Hamburg premiere and has since assisted John Neumeier in rehearsing the ballet around the world.
After dancing the role of Armand alongside Marcia Haydée in the Hamburg premiere of Lady of the Camellias, he has since assisted John Neumeier in staging this ballet with other companies – including the Vienna State Ballet in the 2023/24 season, where he has already been responsible for the staging of Neumeier’s Josephs Legende, Verklungene Feste and Vaslaw. As a dancer, Kevin Haigen appeared as Joseph in the premiere and a further 35 performances of Josephs Legende at the Vienna State Opera in 1977, and also danced the Young Man in Neumeier’s Daphnis and Chloë.