Karen Kain shares highlights from her 50-year career with the National Ballet of Canada

Karen Kain, the National Ballet's former principal dancer-turned-artistic director, is retiring after a legendary career.
Karen Kain, the National Ballet's former principal dancer-turned-artistic director, has announced her plan to step down in 2021. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)

Originally published on November 5, 2019

The National Ballet of Canada is celebrating and commemorating the end of a era that's lasted half a century. Karen Kain has announced in 2019 that, after 50 years with the company, she will retire from her position as artistic director. Her final day is June 30, 2021.

It's a job Kain has held since 2005, after a long and successful career as one of the most beloved ballet dancers in the world. She's performed all of dance's greatest roles many times over, been called to the Order of Canada, honoured by the Governor General's Awards, and even painted by Andy Warhol.

In her role as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada, she steered the company into a new age with a bold artistic vision that put Canadian ballet on the international stage and championed emerging choreographers here at home.

Kain joined host Tom Power live in the Q studio to reflect on her long career, how the company has evolved during her time there, and how she feels about retirement.

— Produced by Cora Nijhawan



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