Dancers go toe to toe with Mike Harris
When a journalist addressed Karen Kain as "prima ballerina" in 1974 the dancer quickly corrected him: "I wouldn't go that far." Kain didn't know at the time that she would one day become Canada's most popular dancer. The ballerina from Hamilton went on to draw ovations from international audiences, with performances of "Swan Lake" to the more risqué "Carmen." By the time she retired in 1997 after 27 years as a dancer with the National Ballet, Kain had more than earned the title prima ballerina.
"The future looks bleak," Harrington says, referring to a $425,000 funding cut to the National Ballet's budget.
Prima ballerina Karen Kain also comes out to protest the cuts. In this CBC Television clip Kain explains just how bleak.
"People will leave. The dancers will leave, the singers will leave and the actors will leave. More than they already have, and this would be terrible for this country," she says.
• In 1995, total government grants to the National Ballet were about $4.7 million. In 2001, the total had dropped to $3.7 million.
• In 2001, the American Ballet Theatre's budget was $43 million while the National Ballet's was only $15 million.
• Due to funding cuts the company employed only 50 dancers in 2001, down from 70 in 1990.
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: Nov. 24, 1995
Guest(s): Rex Harrington, Karen Kain
Reporter: Suhana Meharchand
Last updated: January 24, 2012
Page consulted on September 10, 2014
All Clips from this Topic
A 20-year-old Kain tells CBC why she started dancing.
Even royalty comes out for Kain and Rudolph Nureyev's performance in L...
Kain talks about how her ankles sometimes feel like "glass."
Ballet moms Winnifred Kain and Doris Tennant discuss bringing up their...
A media circus shows up for the ballerina's big day.
Kain becomes founding president of the Dancer Transition Resource Cent...
On Kain's 20th anniversary with the National Ballet, she talks about t...
Rex Harrington and Kain Kain demonstrate against Ontario's decision to...
Kain hangs up her pointe shoes.
Karen Kain is the National Ballet of Canada's new artistic director.
When a journalist addressed Karen Kain as "prima ballerina" in 1974 th...