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Co-Founder, Creative Director

Kevin Iega Jeff

Kevin Iega Jeff is an accomplished dancer, award-winning choreographer, acclaimed artistic director. After 24 years as Co-Founder/Artistic/Executive Director of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT), Iega assumed his new role as Creative Director in September 2019. In his new role, he is leading the company’s newly formed Special Projects division and the development of a new home for the company on Chicago’s South Side. Iega has collaborated on a wide range of professional and community-based projects including Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It; The Academy Awards; and on Broadway in The Wiz. In 2005, the Juilliard School named Iega as one of its 100 Outstanding Alumni. He has received recognitions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Council for Culture and Art, and the International Association of Blacks In Dance. Iega has taught and lectured internationally at universities, colleges, and cultural institutions. In January 2020, Newcity magazine recognized Iega among the top 10 Players 2020: The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago. That same month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed him to the City of Chicago’s Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Speaking about his work, mission and personal philosophy: “I am present to the energies in Creation and inspired by those who have come before me. I am because of the Ancestors. We are each born liberated in the possibility of free thought and I pray to be wise, respectful and courageous as I strive to dismantle oppressive systems. I champion forums that inspire human evolution through creativity. I want my work to grow truer, more focused, and relevant as time passes. My artistic practice is borne out of personal and human examination, and my desire to communicate authentically informs what I create. For me, dance/art-making is a perfect catalyst for revealing the genius within, reflecting who we are and who we strive to become.”

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