17 Facts About Karen Kain


Karen Alexandria Kain was born on March 28,1951 and is a Canadian former ballet dancer and was the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada from 2005 to 2021.


The family moved from Ancaster to Erindale Woodlands, Toronto Township when Karen Kain was in grade 6 so she could begin training at the National Ballet School of Canada.


Karen Kain participated in Girl Guides of Canada programs as a member.


Karen Kain became a principal dancer in 1971, performing central roles in a wide array of ballets, eventually becoming well known in Canada, with the help of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev.


Karen Kain worked as a guest artist with Roland Petit's Ballet National de Marseilles, the Bolshoi Ballet, the London Festival Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Hamburg Ballet, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, and the Eliot Feld Ballet.


In 1977, Karen Kain stopped dancing, but started again in 1981 with the National Ballet of Canada, where she performed for 15 more years.


In 1996, Karen Kain reunited with Frank Augustyn to appear in her husband Ross Petty's panto production of Robin Hood at Toronto's Elgin Theatre.

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Karen Kain supported artistic director James Kudelka against principal dancer Kimberley Glasco in a wrongful-dismissal suit.


Karen Kain was the founding board president of Canada's Dancer Transition Resource Centre.


Karen Kain was made a member of the Order of Ontario in 1990.


Karen Kain holds honorary degrees from the University of Toronto, York University, McMaster University, Trent University, and the University of British Columbia.


In 2012, Karen Kain received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.


Karen Kain has been married since 1983 to Ross Petty, a stage and film actor, and producer of theatrical pantomime productions in Canada for over 20 years.


In 1976, Karen Kain appeared in a televised version of the ballet Giselle in the highly coveted title role, alongside Nadia Potts, Frank Augustyn, and Anne Ditchburn.


In 1985, Karen Kain starred in an episode of the popular Canadian TV series Seeing Things.


Karen Kain was alluded to in the 2003 movie directed by Denys Arcand, "The Barbarian Invasions", when Remy Girard reminisced about his past love affairs.


Karen Kain did a TV commercial for The Art Shoppe, a furniture store in Toronto during the 1970s.