Karen Kain Memories

Share your favourite memory of Karen here (limit 2,000 characters).

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Thanks to our ballet community for sharing their favourite memories of Karen with us. We hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Loved watching the many amazing performances by Karen Kain and Frank Augustyn back then! What the company is today is just wonderful and still a joy to watch! Saw Swan Lake for my 12th birthday and have loved the National Ballet ever since.
– Kathryn Kotin

I saw Karen and Rudolf dance together in 1979. I took a boyfriend. It didn’t last, but my memories of the performance are everlasting.
– Jan Fleming

Congratulations Karen! You are a Canadian icon and represent Canada so brilliantly. You make us proud Canadians. An honour that is well deserving. Thank you for what you have created over the past 50 years to elevate the arts and ballet to new heights. Incredible!
– Christine Zalzal

My ballerina idol ever since I first began ballet and honoured to have been taught a class by Ms Kain at the NBS on Maitland. The most beautiful dancer ever and the loveliest human being, Congratulations Karen... you make Canada SO proud! Can't wait for your Swan Lake...♥️
– Debbie McCabe

Several years back, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kain on a flight I was operating. It is refreshing to know that she is beautiful and gracious both on stage and in the real world! 
– Cheryl Cameron-Wilson
I had the joy of watching Kain and Augustyn at the O’Keefe Centre as a child and fell in love with the ballet. Had the added joy of working at the O’Keefe years later as an usher and was happiest during ballet season. 
– Siân Raphael
Karen will forever be my ballet idol! So grateful for the opportunity to have worked with this legend in the past. I still remember being 14 and meeting Karen for the first time; little did I know what the future would bring with The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet.
– Josephine Comegna
I remember, among so many great performances I was lucky enough to see Karen dance, an extraordinary performance of Giselle in which Karen, replacing an indisposed Lynn Seymour, danced with Frank Augustyn. It was a revelation to me then and has remained a source of inspiration to me ever since. So much respect, admiration and gratitude –  Paul Damchalmer
Several years ago I was having dinner with a friend in Toronto and I was thrilled to see Karen Kain and her husband, Ross Petty, seated at a table nearby. I did not want to disturb their dinner, but I could not contain my excitement. I waited until they finished eating and when her husband went to speak with the restaurant owner, I had my chance to say hi. I walked over to their table, asked her if she minded chatting with a fan, and, with a welcoming smile, she encouraged me to stay. I told Ms. Kain how much I adored watching her dance, and that I was looking forward to seeing her in The Merry Widow that Saturday evening. Her response was gracious, and she told me how much fun she had performing in The Merry Widow. She didn't rush me away, and I was happy to listen to what she had to say. I went back to my friend, and as Ms. Kain and her husband were departing, she stopped at my table to say good night. I wished her a good night in return, then I said to her: "See you Saturday night". She smiled and we said goodbye. I will never forget our encounter.
–  Naomi Fromstein
I literally gasped the first time I saw Karen dance live. When I saw her come down the stairs in Carmen and flash that red dress, the whole audience was quiet for a moment, then gasped. A vison of loveliness, passion and talent.
– Sharlene Arnold
My first introduction to Karen Kain was in Aladdin. I saw it live on stage and then maybe 1000 more times on VHS. Now, at the age of 40, I can still nearly recite the whole thing while watching it with my 4 year old.
– Andrea
Our fathers worked together at Westinghouse in Hamilton. One night when I was about 12, I returned home from ballet class and there was an autographed photo of her for me. My dad said Karen had dropped it off, but I think we know what happened. The framed photo hung in my bedroom for years. Still have it. 
–  Susan Mackrory
Watching Karen opening night in TO dancing Giselle with Frank Augustyn. She floated. I swear she could hold a position on pointe forever. I was able to get both their autographs later. I’ve seen her many many times. Always breathtaking.
– Kim Calvert
I used to take a book about her out of my small-town library and sleep with it under my pillow. I was so in love with her as a child!
– Brenda Brady
My favourite Karen Kain memory is watching The Cinderella Gang with my mom over and over again as a kid. We laughed and laughed every time. Mom passed away last year, so these memories are even more special now.
– Anonymous

Karen Kain – 50 Glorious Years

2019/20 marks Artistic Director Karen Kain’s 50th anniversary with The National Ballet of Canada.

Celebrate With Us