Sylvester Campbell

New York Negro Ballet-1955

Dutch National Ballet: Danced Principal roles 1960

Royal Winnipeg Ballet: Principal 1972-1975

Sylvester Campbell
  • Born in Oklahoma in 1938
  • Trained at Jones-Haywood in Washington, DC and School of American Ballet in New York
  • Member of New York Negro Ballet
  • Joined the Het Netherlands Ballet (now Dutch National Ballet) in 1960
  • Principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet from 1972-1975
  • Director of the dance department at the Baltimore School for the Arts for fifteen years
  • Died 1997 from respiratory failure(1938-1997) Born in Oklahoma, Sylvester Campbell) is an example of an African

Sylvester Campbell was an American ballet dancer who fared better abroad.  Campbell trained at Jones-Haywood in Washington, D. C. (an African American ballet academy) and School of American Ballet (the official professional training school of the New York City Ballet) in New York City.  He was a member of New York Negro Ballet.  When that company folded, he went to Europe.  Campbell joined the Het Netherlands Ballet in 1960, which became the Dutch National Ballet in 1961 and from 1963 he danced principal roles.  He was a principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet from 1972-1975.    Raven Wilkinson danced with him in the Dutch National Ballet.  Regarding Campbell, Raven Wilkinson said,

“I regret so that he was not seen in the United States as a dancer because there was living proof of a danseur noble no matter what color and he was amazing.”

Campbell returned to the United States because he missed his home, but was unable to find employment in an American ballet company demonstrating that his choice to stay in Europe was wise He was the director of the dance Department of the Baltimore School for the Arts for fifteen years after his dance career. He died in Baltimore in 1997 from respiratory failure. Obituaries: Sylvester Campbell.” Dance Magazine, November 1997, 87, 88.

 

Current Website: None

Links to articles, reviews etc: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/06/arts/sylvester-campbell-59-a-pioneer-among-black-classical-dancers.html

http://www.balletreview.com/images/Ballet_Review_42-3_Sylvester_Campbell.pdf

 

 

Reference info: –Dr. Josselli Audain Deans PhD

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