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STORIES / Karen Kain

Karen Kain

Karen Kain worked as the Artistic Director of the National Ballet for 16 years. Kain began her career showcasing her passion and dedication to ballet by starring as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and quickly thereafter becoming a Principal Dancer.

A portrait illustration of Karen Kain.

Ballet Dancer and Artistic Director
Born in 1951

Karen Kain joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1969 at the age of 18 as a member of the Corps de Ballet and quickly rose to become one of its most celebrated Principal Dancers. Her exceptional talent captivated audiences internationally and she became known as one of the best classical dancers of her time. In 2005 she was appointed Artistic Director of the National Ballet, a position she would hold until 2021 making her the longest serving Artistic Director since the National Ballet’s founder, Celia Franca.

Kain’s commitment to artistic excellence, nurturing emerging talent, and expanding the reach of ballet has elevated the city’s cultural landscape, ensuring a legacy of dance that will inspire generations to come.

Explore more women who transformed Toronto.

Further Resources
Read the National Ballet’s biography on Kain here
Learn more about the National Ballet here

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