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Boston Conservatory Announces Honorary Degree Recipient

BOSTON, MA (April 20, 2014)—Award-winning choreographer Dwight Rhoden has been selected as the Honorary Degree Recipient at The Boston Conservatory’s 2014 Commencement, scheduled for May 17, 2014. He will also deliver the 2014 keynote commencement speech. 

Rhoden is the founding artistic director and resident choreographer of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. A native of Dayton, Ohio, he began dancing at the age of 17 and has performed with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Les Ballet Jazz De Montreal and as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Complexions Contemporary Ballet, which Rhoden founded alongside legendary dancer Desmond Richardson in 1994, is widely known as America’s original multicultural dance company. 

Rhoden has earned the distinction from The New York Times as “one of the most sought-out choreographers of the day.” His work and the Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s work have been featured in some of the most prestigious theaters around the world on five continents and more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Canada, South America, Mexico, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Switzerland, Paris and more. 

In addition to creating ballets for dozens of companies—including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, Miami City Ballet and others—Rhoden has directed and choreographed for television, film, theater and live performances: “So You Think You Can Dance,” E! Entertainment’s “Tribute to Style” and Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity. He also choreographed and appeared in the feature film, One Last Dance. In addition, Rhoden has worked with or created works for Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Kelly Clarkson, Nicholas Payton, Paul Simon, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, U2, Patrick Swayze and others. 

During the Conservatory Commencement Ceremony, renowned trumpeter Russell DeVuyst (B.M., 1978) will also be presented with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Currently the associate trumpet of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, DeVuyst has performed with the Israel Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, Boston Opera, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Caracas Symphony, Venezuela Symphony Orchestra and Turin Philharmonic Orchestra in Italy, among others. DeVuyst is also an Assistant Professor of Trumpet at McGill University in Montreal. 

The Boston Conservatory Commencement Ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at John Hancock Hall, Back Bay Events Center, which is located at 180 Berkeley St., Boston. For additional information, visit or contact The Registrar’s Office at (617) 912–9169 or

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