Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

Karen Kain to Retire as National Ballet of Canada's Artistic Director in 2021

On Friday, National Ballet of Canada announced that artistic director Karen Kain will step down in January 2021 to become artistic director emeritus.

Kain, who has served as artistic director since 2005, joined NBoC as a dancer in 1969 and went on to become one of the company's most beloved stars, often dancing alongside Rudolf Nureyev.


During her tenure as artistic director, Kain has been credited with raising the level of dancing in the company and putting NBoC back on the international stage. "Touring has become difficult and expensive," she told writer Michael Crabb when we honored her with a Dance Magazine Award in 2015. "I can't replicate the experience I had 40 years ago, but I'm determined to pursue what's possible. We'd been almost totally left out for too long. Now, we're part of the conversation in the ballet world again."

A young Kain in a flowy transparent dress with a pattern and details at the top. She has her hair up in a headpiece. She clutches her hands together, is up on pointe on one foot and has the other leg behind her in a tiny arabesque. She looks down towards her foot

Karen Kain in Romeo and Juliet

Anthony Crickmay, Courtesy NBoC

Indeed, under Kain's leadership the company has made critically-acclaimed appearances in New York City, London, Paris, Moscow, Los Angeles and other cities, and has strengthened its touring presence within Canada. Kain has also expanded NBoC's repertory with work from today's leading choreographers, including Crystal Pite, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon and Wayne McGregor.

Developing Canadian talent has been a priority for Kain, which she's done through programs featuring exclusively Canadian choreographers like Azure Barton, Eric Gauthier and principal dancer Guillaume Côté.

"Being artistic director of this organization has been the greatest honor of my life," Kain said in a press release. "When I step down in January 2021, I know I leave a financially stable company with the very best dancers in the world, one of the most diverse and coveted repertoires and an international reputation for the highest level of excellence."

Though today we see more and more women leading major ballet companies, Kain was one of the first of this wave when she became artistic director in 2005.

NBoC's board has established a committee to conduct an international search for a new artistic director.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

Topical Pain Relievers Are the Next Item on Your Dancer Self-Care Supply List

With the stressors of the pandemic still lingering more than one year later, self-care is, rightfully, a priority for everyone right now. But dancers have always known the importance of keeping their bodies and minds as healthy as possible. After all, your body is your instrument, and as we make our long-awaited returns to the studio and stage, finding self-care strategies that work for you will be crucial to getting back up to speed—mentally and physically—with your rigorous performing and training schedule.

Dancers have a myriad of options to choose from when it comes to treating minor ailments like soreness, swelling and bruising. One that's quickly gaining popularity are topical pain relievers, which provide targeted, temporary relief of minor pain. These days, there's more than just your tried-and-true Tiger Balm on the shelves. From CBD lotions to warming gels and patches, finding the product that's right for you can be as difficult as finding the perfect Rockette-red shade of lipstick…but even more beneficial to your dance career.

Read on for our breakdown of some of the most common ingredients to look out for in the topical pain relief aisle.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
May 2021