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Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award recipient Carlos Acosta stars in his own biographical film 'Yuli'

11 Mar 2019

'Yuli,' starring Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award recipient Carlos Acosta as himself, tells the story of how Acosta grew up in Cuba and become the world-renowned ballet dancer he is today.

The 2018 recipient of the RAD's Queen Elizabeth Coronation Award (QEII) Carlos Acosta CBE stars as himself in 'Yuli,' an upcoming biographical film depicting the ballet's dancer youth in Cuba and rise to stardom. Acosta stars as himself in the film, with two younger actors playing Acosta as a child. Here's the official synopsis:

The director Icíar Bollaín presents the story of the Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta, a legend on the dance world and the first black dancer to perform some of the most famous ballet roles. A dancer who did not want to dance.

Acosta was awarded the QEII Award in 2018 by the RAD in recognition of his standing as one of the most influential figures in dance today. This award, the Academy’s most prestigious accolade, was instituted in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Dame Ninette de Valois was the first recipient in 1954. Since then it has been awarded to many of the greatest names in dance, in recognition of outstanding services to the art form. 

After being selected for the award, Acosta stated: 'I am delighted to receive the Royal Academy of Dance’s QEII Coronation Award. It is an honour to join this prestigious list of dance leaders, many of whom I have drawn inspiration from and had the opportunity to work with during my career.'

Now, his attentions turns the film industry. The script for 'Yuli,' written by BAFTA-winner Paul Laverty, was adapted from Acosta's own autobiography - 'No Way Home.' Acosta's direct involvement in the movie, playing himself, is unusual for biographical films - usually an outside actor is hired to depict the person - but Acosta is an Olivier-award nominated performer himself, so it makes sense.

Plus, he's stated in an interview with Dance Gazette, Acosta states  numeral times that as he grows older (he's now 45), he wants to take on new challenges and explore new avenues as an artist. You can read that interview here .

'Yuli' is out in UK cinemas on 12 April 2019.

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