Jesse Campbell (Corps de Ballet) received his dance training on scholarship both at the University of Arizona's School of Dance and The Joffrey Ballet School. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Communication from the University of New Mexico and a BFA from the University of Arizona. Jesse has been a company member with Rochester City Ballet, Ballet Montana, and Dayton Ballet. He has performed Gerald Arpino's Birthday Variations and The Kettenbrucke Waltz in Kettentanz, in addition to classical stagings of Cinderella, Don Quixote, Paquita, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. Jesse joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet in 2013. His Balanchine repertoire includes Elegy in Serenade and Sanguinic in The Four Temperaments as well as Episodes I and Pas de Dix.
A Conversation with Jesse
What is your favorite role to dance and why?
My favorite role is Romeo from Romeo and Juliet. The depth and honesty of the character is compelling. The dancing is stunning from both an artistic and athletic perspective.
What do you like to do when you are not dancing?
I enjoy anything to do with the outdoors. I grew up spending a lot of time in the mountains so I'm always interested in an adventure involving camping, hiking, kayaking, etc.
How do you prepare yourself for the physical challenges of rehearsing, performing, touring?
I have to make sure I get enough sleep beforehand. It seems simple enough but it can be challenging with a busy schedule! Cross-training is also important when gearing up to have greater stamina when on tour.
What is it like to work with Ms. Farrell? Any fun and memorable stories or anecdotes about working with her?
Ms. Farrell constantly challenges dancers to excel beyond what they thought was possible in their dancing. It is an incredible experience to receive her coaching and her insight, particularly to George Balanchine's work.
What music do you like to listen to when you warm-up?
It depends on the situation. Before class I like listening to electronic music to get my energy going and before a performance I like to listen to the genre of the music that I'll be dancing to, which is generally something of a classical nature.
What do you think is the most common myth about being a ballet dancer? What do you wish people knew about what it's really like to be a ballet dancer?
I think the biggest myth about being a ballet dancer has to deal with how easy it looks. While making the steps look easy is one of the objectives of the art form, it's important to know that there are countless hours of hard work involved in the quest for the technique to look effortless and for freedom in the movement.
Do you feel an affinity for any particular choreographer?
I am always excited to perform choreography by George Balanchine. I especially enjoy experiencing his sense of musicality when performing his work.
What is the biggest reward in your career?
The biggest reward of dancing is the opportunity to perform! Being onstage is truly a phenomenal sensation. Feeling the energy of the audience and allowing the music and movement to speak through my body is an experience unlike any other.