Sylvester Campbell and the Dutch National Ballet

Maria Koppers and Sylvester Campbell

After the New York Negro Ballet disbanded while on tour in Europe, Campbell decided to stay rather than returning to the US. In 1960, he joined the Het Nationale Ballet (now called the Dutch National Ballet). While there, Campbell danced in many pieces such as La Sylphide, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Campbell was a leading dancer with the company and remained there for 12 years, often going home during his vacations. Campbell made a name for himself while in this company. 

He later left to work with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada.



Conversation with Sylvester Campbell, Ballet Review, pg 24-34
Sylvester Campbell, Lines Ballet
Jones-Haywood and Sylvester Campbell, MOBBallet


Raven Wilkinson and the Dutch National Ballet

Return to Raven Wilkinson / The Dutch National Ballet Orbit

Raven Wilkinson performed with the Dutch National Ballet for six years. There were approximately 120 dancers in the company while Wilkinson danced there. The company performed both traditional and contemporary ballets. During Wilkinson’s tenure, there were a handful of Black dancers and dancers of color dancers with the company. Wilkinson performed in Firebird, Les Sylphides, Serenade, Giselle, Mozartiana, and Concerto Barocco, usually in corps de ballet roles, and feature roles in the White Cat Pas de Deux in Sleeping Beauty, and Pas de Trois and the Spanish Dance in Swan Lake, in addition to other feature roles. The company performed operas, and Wilkinson discovered this interest of hers.


Black Ballerinas Dancing on the Edge: An Analysis of the Cultural Politics in Delores Browne’s and Raven Wilkinson’s Careers, Joselli Deans


Thandi Steele


More about Dutch National Ballet

Sylvester in Giselle for DNB

Before there was the Dutch National Ballet, there were two smaller but powerful groups in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Ballet and the Netherlands Ballet. On August 31, 1961, the two companies merged into what would become the Dutch National Ballet. Sonia Gaskell would be the artistic director for most of the time that Campbell was a member of the company. She departed in 1969, leaving Rudi Van Dantzig and Robert Kaesan as the new artistic directors. Rudi was the sole artistic director from 1971 to 1991. He would be followed by Wayne Eagling (1991-2003) and Ted Brandsen (2003-current).


History, Dutch National Ballet

See also: 

Dutch National Ballet, MoBBallet

Social Media:

Instagram @nationaleoperaballet
Twitter @dutchnatballet

Fatmata Nallo

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