Sylvester Campbell

New York Negro Ballet (1955)
Dutch National Ballet: Danced principal roles (1960)
Royal Winnipeg Ballet: Principal (1972-1975)

Born in Oklahoma in 1938, Sylvester Campbell trained at Jones-Haywood in Washington DC and School of American Ballet in New York. He became a member of New York Negro Ballet in 1957 and, after the company folded, the Het Netherlands Ballet (now Dutch National Ballet) in 1960. Campbell was a principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet from 1972-1975. Regarding Campbell, Raven Wilkinson, who danced with him at the Dutch National Ballet, said, “I regret 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. In 1977, he won a prize at Moscow’s International Ballet Competition. 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.

Sources:

Dr. Josselli Audain Deans PhD
Dance Magazine, November 1997, pages 87-88.

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