Meet Soloist

Karen Nanasca

Introducing Karen

Karen Nanasca was born in Auckland, New Zealand. Hailing from an athletic family, she followed in their footsteps by studying ballet from the age of seven. Her natural talent was immediately noticed and nurtured by her teachers at the Mt Eden Ballet Academy. She won the New Zealand National Ballet Award in 2004, followed by a placing in the semi-finals of the Prix de Lausanne in 2005. In 2006 she was the recipient of Elizabeth McDonald Scholarship, allowing her to cross the Tasman and join The Australian Ballet School. Karen became a member of The Australian Ballet's corps de ballet in 2009 and was promoted to coryphée in 2012; she was promoted to soloist in 2018.

repertoire highlights

  • Giselle in Giselle (The Australian Ballet's Regional Tour) 2017, 2016
  • Fairy of Temperament in David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty 2017, 2015
  • Diana and Actéon Pas de deux 2017
  • 3rd movement Soloist in George Balanchine's Symphony in C 2017
  • Wayne McGregor's Infra 2017
  • Red Pas de deux in Jiří Kylián's Forgotten Land 2016
  • Stomper in Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room 2015
  • Cygnet in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake 2012 - 2015
  • Clara in Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker 2014
  • Wayne McGregor’s Dyad 1929 2013, 2009

You may not know

In 2015 Karen participated in an exchange with the Royal Swedish Ballet and performed in Rudolf Nureyev's production of Don Quixote.

Professional accolades


  • Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee 2011