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Alexander Campbell (born 1986) is a principal dancer in the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, London.[1]

Alexander Campbell
Alexander Campbell (Ballet Dancer).jpg
Born1986 (age 32–33)
Sydney, Australia
OccupationBallet dancer
DancesRoyal Ballet

Early lifeEdit

Alexander Campbell was born in Sydney, Australia in 1986. He was attracted to ballet at the age of five after seeing the work of his grandmother who was a ballet teacher at the time. (Both his maternal grandmother and grandfather, Valma Briggs and Mario Desva, had been professional dancers with Ballet Rambert in London.)[1][2]

Campbell, although training under Nicholina Kuner at the Academy Ballet school on the east side of Sydney, at first viewed ballet as a hobby alongside his participation in the sport of cricket. By the age of 14 both ballet and cricket were his passions.[3] Realising that progress to a professional career in either discipline meant he had to concentrate on just one, he later said, ‘I struggled with the decision for a long time but my love for ballet and the opportunity to do something that seemed unusual for a kid from Sydney was enticing.’[4]

As his training progressed, Campbell was influenced by the performance style of Mikhail Baryshnikov and described him as "a massive inspiration."[5]

AwardsEdit

In 2002 Campbell won the McDonald's Ballet Scholarship in the Sydney Eisteddfod enabling him to approach the Royal Ballet Upper School in London.[6] In 2003, he auditioned for the School and was offered a place. In that same year he was a finalist in the Prix de Lausanne and won the Genee International Ballet Competition.[1]

Professional careerEdit

In 2005 at the age of 18 he started his professional career graduating into the Birmingham Royal Ballet and was promoted to the position of first artist followed by promotion to soloist (2007) and first soloist in 2009.[1]

During his time with Birmingham Royal Ballet his repertory included both Romeo and Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Franz (Coppelia), Prince (The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and The Nutcracker,) Sam and Will Moffit (Hobson’s Choice).Cyrano (Cyrano) and Petrushka.[1] He created the roles of Young Man in Michael Corder's La Baiser de la fée and Celeritas2 in David Bintley's E=mc2.[1] In 2009 Campbell danced Puck in The Dream.[7]

He joined the Royal Ballet as a soloist at Covent Garden in 2011 and was promoted to first soloist in 2012 and principal in June 2016.

As first soloist at The Royal Ballet he performed many roles including principal ones. During his career at Covent Garden he has danced Lescaut (Manon), Basilio (Don Quixote), Bratfisch and Hungarian Officer (Mayerling),Lewis Carroll/White Rabbit, Jack/Knave of Hearts and Magician/Mad Hatter (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Bluebird and Florestan (Sleeping Beauty), Bronze Idol (La Bayadère), Jack (Sweet Violets), Emble (The Age of Anxiety), Texan Kangeroo Rat (‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café), Principal (In the Night), Officer (Anastasia), Florizel (The Winter's Tale), Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein) and roles in ‘Emeralds’(Jewels), Voices of Spring, Concerto, In the Night, Polyphonia, Birthday Offering, Requiem, Raven Girl, Connectome, Woolf Works, Swan Lake, Giselle, Viscera, Within the Golden Hour, Carbon Life and Obsidian Tear.[1] Over several years he has danced the roles of both Hans-Peter and the Prince in The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House.[8] He also frequently performed the role of Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet) at Covent Garden.[9] Campbell danced with distinction in Song of the Earth in 2015.[10] In the same year he performed his debut in the role of Colas (La fille mal gardee) with Yuhui Choe to critical acclaim.[11] In the role of The Young Man in Ashton's The Two Pigeons in 2016 Campbell, again dancing with Choe, garnered universal acclaim in 14 independent reviews including The Times, The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.[12][13][14][15] Campbell's role creations at Covent Garden include Henry Clerval (Frankenstein).[1]

His first role as Principal was as partner to the acclaimed Ashtonian dancer, Roberta Marquez in La fille mal gardee at her Royal Ballet farewell performance in 2016. Campbell first danced Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty at Covent Garden partnering Francesca Hayward on her debut as Aurora in February 2017.[16] Later in 2017 he danced in Rubies (Jewels), Tarentella[1] and as Oberon in The Dream.[17] In 2018 he debuted as Albrecht partnering Francesca Hayward in Giselle.[18] In April 2018 Campbell made his debut as des Grieux in Kenneth McMillan’s Manon and in the same run of performances at Covent Garden danced on different days the roles of both des Grieux and Lescaut; a rare distinction in the history of the Royal Ballet.[19][20] In the following month he danced the expanded role of Benno at the World premiere of Liam Scarlett’s new production of Swan Lake.[21] In June 2019 Campbell gave a stand out performance of the 3rd movement of Symphony in C.[22]

In major roles, Campbell has toured with the Royal Ballet in Russia, Japan, The United States of America, Spain and Australia and has made guest appearances with Birmingham Royal Ballet and Australian Ballet.[1][5] In 2015 Campbell performed the role of The Devil in Will Tuckett’s A Soldiers Tale in Tokyo. He partnered Francesca Hayward in Robert Binet's immersive work, The Dreamers Ever Leave You in collaboration with the National Ballet of Canada at The Printworks in London in October 2017.[23] Campbell starred with Francesca Hayward in the BBC television documentary film Dancing the Nutcracker: Inside the Royal Ballet which was first shown on Christmas Day 2016. As a presenter, Campbell has introduced broadcasts of ballet from the Royal Opera House and in 2018 he co-presented World Ballet Day with Kristin McNally. [24]


Work with Young PeopleEdit

In 2007 Campbell appeared as Mercutio for Ballet Hoo! in a collaboration working with under-privileged children which was broadcast by Channel 4.[1] In June 2017 Campbell was appointed an ambassador for the Royal Academy of Dance and Marylebone Cricket Club joint project to encourage more boys to take up ballet and more girls to take up cricket.[25] In 2017 he took part in a BBC live interactive ballet learning experience for 7 to 11 year-olds broadcast to schools across the UK [26] and was a guest teacher at the Royal Ballet School’s summer programme.[27] In 2018 he gave masterclasses to vocational level students at the Royal Academy of Dance in London.[28] and was appointed an ambassador of The Sydney Eisteddfod.[29]

Personal lifeEdit

Campbell was awarded British Citizenship in 2013.

He has always maintained his love and knowledge of cricket and was invited in 2010 to speak annually to the England and Wales Cricket Board as part of their Level Four Training for international cricket coaches.[4] In 2015 he was invited to take part in the BBC programme Test Match Special with an interview entitled, View from the Boundary.[4]

In 2018 Campbell was featured on ABC Television (Australia) in a documentary charting his early life and that of fellow Royal Ballet Principal, Steven McRae.[30]

DVDsEdit

Campbell can be seen dancing in the following productions:

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET

  • Cinderella NVC Arts Warner Classics (2011) (Dancing Master)

ROYAL BALLET

  • Romeo and Juliet. Opus Arte (2013) (Mercutio)
  • Ashton Celebration. Opus Arte (2013) (Voices of Spring)
  • Swan Lake. Opus Arte (2015) (Pas de Trois)
  • Frankenstein Opus Arte. (2016) (Henry Clerval)
  • The Nutcracker. Opus Arte (2017) (Hans Peter/Nutcracker)
  • Swan Lake. Opus Arte (2018) (Benno)
  • Within the Golden Hour. Opus Arte (2020)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Alexander Campbell". Roh.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  2. ^ "Meeting report". Balletassociation.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  3. ^ Mark Monahan.https://www.telegraph.co.uk/dance/what-to-see/alexander-campbell-interview-giving-cricket-sacrifice/
  4. ^ a b c "What do cricket and ballet have in common? Dancer Alexander Campbell on BBC Test Match Special". SoundCloud. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  5. ^ a b "Cupcakes & Conversation with Alexander Campbell, Soloist of the Royal Ballet". Ballet News. 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  6. ^ "Royal Ballet appoints Sydney boy Alexander Campbell soloist". Smh.com.au. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  7. ^ "criticaldance ballet-dance magazine: Birmingham Royal Ballet - Review - Galanteries, The Dance House, The Dream". Ballet-dance.com. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  8. ^ "The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  9. ^ Mark Monahan, Dance Critic (2015-09-20). "Royal Ballet's Romeo and Juliet, Royal Opera House, review: '". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  10. ^ "oyal Ballet's Focus on British Choreography Exposes Its Limits". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  11. ^ "La Fille mal gardée, Royal Opera House, London — review". Ft.com. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  12. ^ Debra Craine (2016-01-21). "Rhapsody/The Two Pigeons at Covent Garden". The Times. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Mark Monahan (2016-01-21). "Rhapsody and The Two Pigeons, Covent Garden, review: 'the superstar outshone by the young pretender'". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ Mark Monahan (2017-02-17). "Francesca Hayward and Alexander Campbell rise to the occasion - The Sleeping Beauty, Royal Ballet, review". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  17. ^ Clement Crisp https://www.ft.com/content/a5febc32-4aa2-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89b/
  18. ^ Mark Monahan https://www.telegraph.co.uk/dance/what-to-see/francesca-hayward-ravishing-giselle-royal-opera-house-review/
  19. ^ http://rohcollections.org.uk/performances.aspx/
  20. ^ https://miriskusnik.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/performances-of-note-alexander-campbell-in-the-royal-ballets-manon/
  21. ^ https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2018/swan-lake-review-liam-scarlett-at-royal-opera-house-london-2/
  22. ^ Mark Monahan. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/dance/what-to-see/firebird-month-country-symphony-c-review-royal-ballet-royal/
  23. ^ https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dance-review-the-dreamers-ever-leave-you-at-print/[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ World Ballet Day. https:// www.roh.org.uk/news/world-ballet-day-2018/
  25. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40138653/
  26. ^ ,/http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/57XcCL5bzLkDyXz7w3MN4p/ten-pieces-and--the-nutcracker-live-lesson/
  27. ^ https://www.royalballetschool.org.uk/2017/07/24/impressive-line-up-of-current-and-former-ballet-stars-teach-summer-programme-2017/
  28. ^ https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/alexander-campbell-masterclass-tickets-45916892662#
  29. ^ https://sydneyeisteddfod.com.au/meet-sydney-eisteddfods-newest-ambassador-alexander-campbellnew-article/
  30. ^ Rebecca Baille. http://www.abc.net.au/austory/leap-of-faith/9463014/