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Carlos Acosta

Principal Guest Artist of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Carlos Acosta in action.
Carlos Acosta in Don Quixote © ROH/Johan Persson, 2013

Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta is a Principal Guest Artist of The Royal Ballet. He has danced with many of the leading ballet companies in the world. He joined The Royal Ballet in 1998 and became a Principal Guest Artist in 2003. He has achieved acclaim for dancing many of the danseur noble roles in the repertory, such as Siegfried (Swan Lake), Albrecht (Giselle), The Prince (The Nutcracker), Des Grieux (Manon), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty) and Don Quixote. His staging of Don Quixote, his first for The Royal Ballet, opened the 2013/14 Season.

Acosta was born in Havana and trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba, going on to dance with the English National Ballet, the National Ballet of Cuba and the Houston Ballet. The culture and history of his home country have been important influences throughout his career, and in 2003 his show Tocororo – A Cuban Tale, loosely based on his childhood, broke box office records at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. His 2007 autobiography No Way Home was a UK bestseller and he is currently developing plans for a new ballet school in Cuba. 2013 saw the publication of his first novel, Pig’s Foot.

Acosta has received many awards throughout his career, including an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2007 and a Prix Benois de la Danse in 2008, and in 2014 he was made a CBE for services to ballet. In June 2011 he performed with Tamara Rojo at the opening night of Romeo and Juliet at the O2 Arena, London, to an audience of 13,500.

Videos

News and features

World Ballet Day programme: What's in store during the day-long live-stream on 1 October 2014

World Ballet Day programme: What's in store during the day-long live-stream on 1 October 2014

24 September 2014

The Royal Ballet will join forces with four other world-class companies, offering glimpses into morning class and rehearsals, with exclusive interviews.

Casting Confirmation: Additional debuts announced for Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon

Casting Confirmation: Additional debuts announced for Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon

17 September 2014

Casts include Principal Guest Artist Carlos Acosta as Lescaut.

Giselle available to pre-order on DVD and Blu-Ray

Giselle available to pre-order on DVD and Blu-Ray

8 August 2014

Order Peter Wright’s production starring Natalia Osipova and Carlos Acosta now, and receive a discount.

Carlos Acosta choreographs his first musical, Broadway classic Guys and Dolls

Carlos Acosta choreographs his first musical, Broadway classic Guys and Dolls

6 August 2014

Production at Chichester Festival Theatre follows the 2013 premiere of his first full-length ballet, Don Quixote.

Your reaction: Cubanía

Your reaction: Cubanía

23 July 2014

What did you think of Carlos Acosta's programme of Cuban dance?

A Cuban dance history: Part II

A Cuban dance history: Part II

16 July 2014

Following our guide to Cuban dance in general, we explore the country’s ballet tradition.

Photos

Carlos Acosta

Carlos Acosta

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta and Pieter Symonds in Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

In rehearsals for Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

In rehearsals for Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht and Natalia Osipova as Giselle in Giselle © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Natalia Osipova as Giselle in Giselle © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht and Natalia Osipova as Giselle in Giselle © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht in Giselle © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

In rehearsals for Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht and Natalia Osipova as Giselle in Giselle © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta and Pieter Symonds in rehearsals for Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in rehearsals for Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

In rehearsals for Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta and Pieter Symonds in rehearsals for Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta and Pieter Symonds in rehearsals for Cubanía © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Carlos Acosta in Tocoroco © Laurie Lewis

Tocoroco © Laurie Lewis

Carlos Acosta in Romeo and Juliet © Dee Conway, 2006

Carlos Acosta, Marianela Nuñez and members of The Royal Ballet at the curtain call for the gala night of Don Quixote © ROH / The Ballet Bag 2013

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta at the curtain call for the gala night of Don Quixote © ROH / The Ballet Bag 2013

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta at the curtain call for the gala night of Don Quixote © ROH / The Ballet Bag 2013

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez at the curtain call for the gala night of Don Quixote © ROH / The Ballet Bag 2013

Carlos Acosta, Marianela Nuñez and members of The Royal Ballet at the curtain call for the gala night of Don Quixote © ROH / The Ballet Bag 2013

Carlos Acosta, Marianela Nuñez and members of The Royal Ballet at the curtain call for the gala night of Don Quixote © ROH / The Ballet Bag 2013

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez at the curtain call for the gala night of Don Quixote © ROH / The Ballet Bag 2013

Carlos Acosta rehearsing for Don Quixote © ROH / Johan Persson 2013

Carlos Acosta rehearsing for Don Quixote © ROH / Johan Persson 2013

Carlos Acosta rehearsing for Don Quixote © ROH / Johan Persson 2013

Carlos Acosta in Don Quixote © ROH/Johan Persson, 2013

Carlos Acosta as Basilio in Don Quixote © ROH / Johan Persson 2013

Carlos Acosta as Basilio and Marianela Nuñez as Kitri in Don Quixote © ROH / Johan Persson 2013

Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in Apollo ©ROH/Johan Persson, 2013

Carlos Acosta in Apollo ©ROH/Johan Persson, 2013