Karen Kain explains why she chose ballet
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.
Softly, the ballerina tells host Bill McNeil about her teenage years and what it's like to dance the lead role for the National Ballet.
• Kain began training at the school in 1961. Eight years later she was accepted to dance for the National Ballet of Canada.
• After one year with the company Kain got her big break. At just 19 she replaced Veronica Tennant, who was injured at the time, in the title role of Swan Lake.
Broadcast Date: April 27, 1971
Guest(s): Karen Kain
Host: Bill McNeil
Last updated: March 7, 2012
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
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