Artistic and Executive Director
Karen is the Founding Director of The New English Ballet Theatre. She holds a degree in education and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance (ARAD).
Karen grew up in Washington D.C. She joined Seattle Ballet after finishing her degree in Dance Education at the University of Washington. After leaving Seattle Ballet, Karen moved to England as a freelance dancer and choreographer and opened the Knightsbridge Ballet School, which she ran successfully for 12 years. Parallel to her successful business career, Karen ran her own performance company and has choreographed for ballet, opera and the BBC.
In 2010, Karen founded New English Ballet Theatre (NEBT) as a reaction to a perceived lack of career opportunities for emerging ballet dancers and choreographers. A registered charity, NEBT’s mission is it to nurture and develop young talent in dance, choreography, music and design by providing high quality stage experience in a nurturing company setting. No other UK company is focused solely on contributing to the development of new ballet choreography alongside emerging talent.
Having successfully raised £2.75 million and furthered the careers of 240 emerging performers and artists in its first 10 years, NEBT continues to champion ballet as a relevant, contemporary artform for 21st century audiences.
Daniela Cardim is a Brazilian/British choreographer and manager based in London. Born in Rio de Janeiro, she danced with Ballet do Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro and with Dutch National Ballet, in Amsterdam.
Cardim has a first class BA degree in Arts Management. She worked as Company Manager at NEBT from 2013 to 2020, and and has been Assistant Director since early 2022.
Cardim is also one of our Associate Choreographers. For artistic achievements see her choreographer’s biography.
His other lighting designs for NEBT include: Into the Spotlight, The Four Seasons, New Works, Remembrance, Quint-Essential, and Tryst.
British film-maker Alice Pennefather spent 6 years travelling and working abroad, focusing on scuba diving and filming underwater. Returning to London in 2011 she rediscovered her love of dance and movement.
With several years’ experience photographing for companies such as The Royal Ballet, Garsington Opera, Ballet Cymru and NEBT, she has also developed her skills with moving image above and below the water on several commercials, major BBC and ITV dramas, short films and major feature films. Her short dance films have gone on to achieve official acceptance to film festivals worldwide and won several awards.
Helga has been working in the arts and heritage sectors for more than 20 years; roles including marketing, PR, dramaturgy, public engagement and fundraising.
She has worked with tanzhaus nrw and Ballett Kiel (both Germany), Pavilion Dance South West, Hofesh Shechter Company and Stopgap Dance Company, among others. In 2018, Helga launched her own Arts Marketing Consultancy, The Write Brandt.
Judy Lipsey is a dynamic arts and entertainment publicist and is proud to be a member of the New English Ballet Theatre team. Judy has worked for three of the major record labels (Sony, EMI, BMG), co-founded Lipsey Meade PR in the 1990s, The Works PR in the 2000s where she worked with Michael Ball, Elaine Paige, DV8 Physical Theatre, Wynton Marsalis and Steven Berkoff and Premier PR where she was Associate Director. She formed Lipsey PR in 2019.
Her clients include New English Ballet Theatre, Mark Bruce Company, Lost Dog Dance, OVO Theatre Productions, the annual Let’s Dance International Frontiers festival, and Rubicon Dance Company.
Susan was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to the UK in 2019 to pursue a Master’s in Ancient History. While at university, Susan discovered a love of working behind the scenes, producing and stage-managing several productions with the Sydney University Musical Theatre Society, before expanding to work with other companies in Sydney. Susan began her career in arts administration, working with Constella OperaBallet in 2022, and is now excited to start a new chapter with NEBT.
Paul Godfrey – Production Manager