Una Kai, a former New York City Ballet dancer and ballet mistress for Kansas City Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet and others, passed away on December 10 in Savannah, Georgia at the age of 92.
Kai danced with the New York City Ballet from 1948 to 1960. George Balanchine personally invited her to become the ballet master for the company, where she served from 1956 to 1971.
Kai also was ballet master of Joffrey Ballet in New York City from 1960 to 1963. In 1973, she became the artistic director of New Zealand Ballet (now The Royal New Zealand Ballet), and in 1975 moved on to become ballet mistress of the Royal Danish Ballet.
Kai in Bolender's 1943 Mother Goose Suite. Photo by Walter E. Owen, courtesy KCB
Kai with Todd Bolender. Photo courtesy KCB