Artistic Director and CEO
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 has now rejoined the team as Assistant Director.
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 specialising in dance and theatre. She has worked for three of the major record labels (Sony, EMI, BMG) and co-founded Lipsey Meade PR in the 1990s, and The Works PR in the 2000s. She was Associate Director at Premier PR for seven years before setting up Lipsey PR in 2019.
Her clients include New English Ballet Theatre, Mark Bruce Company, Lost Dog, Maltings Theatre, Croydon Composers, 2Faced Dance, Seeta Patel, Let’s Dance International Frontiers festival, Freddie Opoku-Addaie.
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.