RAD announces Royal Ballet Principal Alexander Campbell as new Artistic Director

Alexander Campbell in the RAD's Aud Jebsen Studio Theatre. Photo by Cesare De Giglio.
Alexander Campbell in the RAD's Aud Jebsen Studio Theatre. Photo by Cesare De Giglio.

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has announced Alexander Campbell as its new Artistic Director. Campbell will begin his tenure this April.

Succeeding the RAD’s previous Artistic Director Gerard Charles who retired last year, Campbell comes to the RAD after over a decade at The Royal Ballet.

Campbell has performed across the breadth of The Royal Ballet’s classical and contemporary repertory. Principal roles have included Albrecht (Giselle), Basilio (Don Quixote), Franz (Coppélia), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), the Prince (The Nutcracker), Colas (La Fille mal gardée), Young Man (The Two Pigeons), Oberon (The Dream), Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Des Grieux and Lescaut (Manon), Florizel (The Winter’s Tale), and roles in Dances at a Gathering, Jewels, Within the Golden Hour, Woolf Works and Carbon Life, among others.

Born in Sydney, Campbell trained locally at Academy Ballet. He has longstanding connections with the RAD, completing all RAD examinations up to Advanced 2 and winning a silver medal at the 2003 Genée International Ballet Competition (now The Fonteyn) which was held in Birmingham. Through this experience, Campbell was introduced to Birmingham Royal Ballet, the company he joined upon graduating from The Royal Ballet School in 2005. In 2011, he joined The Royal Ballet as a Soloist, was promoted to First Soloist in 2012, and to Principal in 2016.

As well as having an exceedingly successful career as a professional ballet dancer, Campbell runs a production company called Alexander Campbell Productions which has spearheaded projects for theatre and dance including Sleepwalker, featuring the differently-abled dancer Joseph Powell-Main, and The Limit in association with The Royal Ballet for which he provided the original dance concept and performed in at the Linbury Theatre with fellow Royal Ballet Principal Francesca Hayward.

Campbell’s last performances with The Royal Ballet will be as Des Grieux in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon on Saturday 2nd and Friday 8th March.

Speaking of the news, Campbell says, “I’m thrilled to be joining the Royal Academy of Dance and feel privileged to have been offered the role of Artistic Director. The RAD was formative in my training, and I believe has the power to shape how people interact with ballet and dance. I am motivated and excited to play a part in how we develop and offer these exceptional and positive interactions, not only for our current and future members and students but also for society in general. I have been fortunate to enjoy a wonderful career performing with The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet with experiences and friendships I will cherish for a lifetime. My thanks to Kevin O’Hare for supporting me in this next step in my career, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Tim Arthur, Chief Executive of the RAD, says, “I am delighted that Alexander is joining the RAD at such an exciting time for our organisation. We have big plans for the future that we can’t wait to share with the world, and Alexander will play a key role in helping to define and be part of that journey. He has a wealth of experience, passion and knowledge, and is admired by so many of our RAD students and members. I can’t wait to start working with him to build on our Artistic team’s brilliant and diverse body of work.”  

Dame Darcey Bussell, President of the RAD, says, “As a friend of Alexander, I’m thrilled by this news. He has such great passion for dance, and I look forward to seeing all the exciting developments his time at the RAD will bring.”

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, says, “Alexander has been a key member of both our Royal companies for almost two decades. His passion for dance has always been obvious from across his many stage performances in a vibrant and diverse range of roles, to his great aptitude in more recent years as a presenter for World Ballet Day and his concept production for The Limit. I know he will continue as a wonderful advocate for dance in this exciting new role, and I look forward to our continued working relationship providing more people with positive experiences of our powerful artform.”

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