Episode 1: Carlos Acosta
Broadcast: 23 February 2022
Carlos Acosta has an electric connection to audiences – a combination of elegance, fire and rare charisma. Starting life in one of Havana’s poorest neighbourhoods, the Cuban dancer became a favourite at The Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi. His inspirational effect has been widely recognised – including, in 2018, by the RAD’s Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award. He now leads his own contemporary company, Acosta Danza, and is director of Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB). He describes how he came to love ballet, keeping motivated through the pandemic and a new partnership between BRB and the RAD, designed to share the love of ballet among teachers, students and audiences.
Carlos Acosta is Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet and of Acosta Danza. Born in Havana in 1973, he trained at the National Ballet School of Havana in Cuba, winning awards including the Prix de Lausanne in 1990. He went on to dance with the world’s most prestigious companies, with London’s Royal Ballet becoming his home. He retired from ballet in 2016, having performed almost every classical role from Spartacus to Romeo. He created award-winning shows including Tocororo, and choreographed Royal Ballet productions of Don Quixote and Carmen, plus Guys and Dolls in the West End. He has also written Pig’s Foot, a novel, and his autobiography No Way Home. His awards include a CBE and the RAD’s Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award.
Carlos’ new production of Don Quixote for BRB is on tour.
Acosta Danza is also touring the UK.
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