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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

Life Reimagined Gala: Kevin O'Hare and Kasper Holten preview their highlights

Life Reimagined Gala: Kevin O'Hare and Kasper Holten preview their highlights

18 February 2015

The Director of The Royal Ballet and Director of The Royal Opera on what they're most excited for at the upcoming gala.

A number of Royal Ballet artists honoured at the National Dance Awards 2015

A number of Royal Ballet artists honoured at the National Dance Awards 2015

26 January 2015

Carlos Acosta, Francesca Hayward, Natalia Osipova and Christopher Wheeldon among the winners at this year's awards.

BBC launches Year of Song and Dance programming

BBC launches Year of Song and Dance programming

15 January 2015

2015 will see a year-long celebration of the arts with new documentaries and live streamed performances.

Listen: Matthew Golding – ‘Carlos Acosta knows what he wants’

Listen: Matthew Golding – ‘Carlos Acosta knows what he wants’

3 November 2014

The Principal dancer on fulfilling a longtime aspiration in dancing Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote

Watch: Highlights from World Ballet Day

Watch: Highlights from World Ballet Day

10 October 2014

Another chance to watch Royal Ballet daily class in full, rehearsals, interviews and more.

Wayne McGregor to join judging panel for BBC’s Young Dancer 2015 competition

Wayne McGregor to join judging panel for BBC’s Young Dancer 2015 competition

3 October 2014

Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer to join Tamara Rojo and Matthew Bourne on panel, with Carlos Acosta as contest ambassador.

Photos

Carlos Acosta as The Messenger of Death and Marianela Nuñez in Song of the Earth

Carlos Acosta's Tocorocco

Carlos Acosta's Tocorocco

Carlos Acosta's Tocorocco

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in George Céspedes' La Ecuación

Zenaida Yanowsky and Carlos Acosta in Edwaard Liang's Sight Unseen

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in Cubanía

Carlos Acosta

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in rehearsals for Cubanía

In rehearsals for Cubanía

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht and Natalia Osipova as Giselle in Giselle

The Royal Ballet Giselle in rehearsal, Natalia Osipova as Giselle; Carlos Acosta as Albrecht. (Clore Studio)

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

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta at the curtain call for the gala night of Don Quixote

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in rehearsals for Don Quixote

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in rehearsals for Don Quixote

Carlos Acosta rehearsing for Don Quixote

Carlos Acosta rehearsing for Don Quixote

Carlos Acosta at the ROH Cinema Season 2013/14 launch

Sarah Lamb in Gloria, with Thiago Soares and Carlos Acosta

Sarah Lamb in Gloria, with Thiago Soares and Carlos Acosta

Carlos Acosta working with dancers of The Royal Ballet on Don Quixote

Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in Apollo

Leanne Benjamin and Carlos Acosta in Requiem

Carlos Acosta in Romeo and Juliet

Tamara Rojo as Giselle and Carlos Acosta as Albrecht in Giselle

Sarah Lamb, Carlos Acosta in Rubies as part Jewels

Carlos Acosta as The Messenger of Death, Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares in Song of the Earth

Carlos Acosta's Tocorocco

Carlos Acosta's Tocorocco

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in George Céspedes' La Ecuación

Carlos Acosta in Edwaard Liang's Sight Unseen

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in Cubanía

Carlos Acosta

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in Miguel Altunaga's Derrumbe

Carlos Acosta in Afternoon of a Faun, The Royal Ballet