Meet Coryphée

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.

repertoire highlights

  • Tim Harbour’s Filigree and Shadow 2015
  • Cygnet in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake 2012 - 2015
  • Clara in Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker 2014
  • Wayne McGregor’s Dyad 1929 2013

You may not know

Karen is left-handed, wants to learn another language, and doesn't like cheese unless it's melted.

Professional accolades


  • Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee 2011