Artistic Director of Kelly Roth & Dancers
College of Southern Nevada Dance Program Head
Co-Founder/Director of Las Vegas Dance in the Desert
Founder/Director of New Dance Foundation for the Arts
KELLY ROTH was born in Carmel, California. As an adolescent, lessons in karate followed by ballet studies at the Arizona Academy of Dancing, under the direction of Mary Moe Adams, a Royal Academy of Dance examiner, led to a Ford Foundation Scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet where at eighteen he was asked to join the company. In 1976 Mr. Roth moved to New York City, commencing an intensive artistic apprenticeship under modern dance legends Murray Louis, Alwin Nikolais, and Hanya Holm, at the Nikolais/Louis Dance Theatre Lab. Since then he has choreographed and performed globally in a variety of settings with dance companies including those of Murray Louis, Robert Small, and his own company, Kelly Roth & Dancers in New York City, as well as Danse Theatre Susan Buirge in Paris, City Contemporary Dance Company in Hong Kong, and Danse Partout in Quebec. Mr. Roth has also taught at Coker College, Texas Woman’s University, Mesa Community College, The University of Wisconsin, and Arizona State University where he received his MFA in dance and was honored as the Outstanding Graduate of the Graduate College. In 1995, Mr. Roth was invited to relocate to Las Vegas in order to build a dance program for the College of Southern Nevada. In addition to his duties as Head of the CSN Dance Program, he continues to choreograph for such organizations as the Las Vegas Ballet Company and Desert Dance Theatre, and appears as guest artist with various companies including Nevada Ballet Theatre, The Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre and A Ludwig Dance Theatre.
With co-founder Kyla Quintero, Roth created the Dance in the Desert Festival in 1999. Heralding the event, which attracts participants from across the nation, CALLBACK observed, “One thing is certain, dance lovers who miss the annual Festival, as directed by Kelly Roth, do themselves a disservice because it always offers innovative, exciting performances in varied dance styles and disciplines.”
In his ongoing role as Artistic Director of Kelly Roth & Dancers and Concert Dance Company, he has taken his mixed choreographic bag of literal and abstract narratives to the Avignon Festival in France, to the International Choreographic Festival in Mexico City, the Prague Festival in the Czech Republic and to frequent engagements in California, Arizona, and Utah. In June 2003 Kelly Roth and company received first prizes for Choreography and Best Contemporary Dance Presentation at the Dance Grand Prix Italia in Cesena, Italy. In Spain, the company gleaned the silver cup for dance theatre at the Barcelona Dance Awards, 2006. In 2019 Mr. Roth journeyed to Ukraine, creating new choreography for Contemporary Dance Space Lviv. Described in Dance Spirit Magazine as “one of the most exciting modern dancers and choreographers on today’s dance scene,” Kelly Roth was also cited by the Nevada Arts Council for “high artistic achievement,” and awarded a prestigious Nevada Artist’s Fellowship for 2005. City Life magazine’s Best of the Valley 2008 issue anointed Roth as Las Vegas’ “best local choreographer.” Evaluating Mr. Roth’s impact on the cultural climate of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas dance critic, Hal de Becker, stated, “CSN and the community at large are fortunate to possess a creative artist of his caliber.”