Artist. Leader. Icon.

Karen Kain Celebrates 50 Years with The National Ballet of Canada

Career Timeline

Graduates from Canada’s National Ballet School and joins the Corps de Ballet.
Debuts in Swan Lake at the age of 19 while still a member of the Corps de Ballet, replacing an injured Veronica Tennant and is promoted to Principal Dancer.
Debuts in the role of Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty with Rudolf Nureyev and they begin a celebrated partnership.
Awarded the Silver Medal in the Women’s Category at the Second International Ballet Competition in Moscow, also winning first prize for Best Pas de Deux with Frank Augustyn. The duo performed the Bluebird Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty.
With Frank Augustyn in Afternoon of a Faun (1977). Elite Syncopations (1978).
Photographed by Andy Warhol for commissioned silk screen portrait.
With Reid Anderson in Onegin (1984). Echo (1988).
Merry Widow
The Merry Widow (1986). La Ronde (1987).
CBC TV airs Karen Kain: Prima Ballerina directed by Norman Campbell.
Made a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest honour in the country.
Taming of the Shrew
With Jeremy Ransom in The Taming of the Shrew (1992). With Graeme Mears in Now and Then (1993). 
Performs her final Swan Lake on November 25.
A Month in the Country
A Month in the Country (1995).
Embarks on a cross Canada Farewell Tour performing James Kudelka’s The Actress. (With Rex Harrington.)
Appointed Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada.
Invites Canadian and internationally acclaimed choreographers to work with The National Ballet of Canada.
Returns The National Ballet of Canada to the international stage with successful tours to London, United Kingdom and Washington and to Los Angeles and New York City the following year.
Awarded a 2015 Dance Magazine Award, presented by Mikhail Baryshnikov in New York City.
Tours the company to Paris, France for the first time in 45 years with John Neumeier’s Nijinsky at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. (With Guillaume Côté in Paris.)
Tours the company to San Francisco, Hamburg, Germany and Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia
Celebrates 50 glorious years with The National Ballet of Canada.
Photos by Aleksandar Antonijevic, Ken Bell, D. Brian Campbell, CBC, Anthony Crickmay, Barry Gray, Doug Griffin, Karolina Kuras, Andrew Oxenham, Lydia Pawelak, Sian Richards, Victoria Schwarzl, David Street, Cylla von Tiedemann and Bruce Zinger.