When Daniel Camargo stepped down as first soloist at the Dutch National Ballet in July 2019, he was leaping into the unknown. Embarking on a career as a freelance dancer after seven years performing for some of Europe’s most prestigious companies, Camargo would find himself far from home in 2021, ready to make his name known in Hong Kong.
In March, Camargo accepted an invitation from the Hong Kong Ballet’s artistic director Septime Webre to dance the lead roles in Emeralds and Diamonds within the company’s rendition of Jewels in May, followed by the part of Romeo in its unique take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in June. A first for Camargo, choreographer George Balanchine’s 1967 gemstone-inspired triptych is regarded as one of the most daunting and technical productions to perform, due to the different styles that dancers must master. Although Camargo had already performed the classic tragedy multiple times throughout his career, dancing Romeo + Juliet— Webre’s innovative re-envisioning set amid triad gang tension in 1960s Hong Kong—was a refreshing new challenge for the 29-year-old.
Camargo, who trained at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart under the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s Pyotr Pestov, started his career as a soloist with the Stuttgart Ballet in 2012. The multi-award-winning performer was promoted to principal dancer just one year later, then became principal dancer at the Dutch National Ballet from 2016 until his departure two years ago.
After a period of uncertainty and time spent away from performing, this is a momentous year for the dancer: following his summer in Hong Kong, he will appear in the animation-live action hybrid film adaptation of the classic ballet Coppelia in the lead role of Franz, alongside Michaela DePrince’s Swanhilda, or “Swan”. Camargo will also star in the Amazon Studios production Birds of Paradise, a ballet drama that follows two dancers at an elite Parisian academy, directed by Sarah Adina Smith. Both films are slated for release in 2021.
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