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Carlos Acosta

Principal Guest Artist of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Carlos Acosta 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, before dancing 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.

Upcoming productions

  • Manon

    Cast as Des Grieux

    Kenneth MacMillan's acclaimed tragic ballet is a modern masterpiece.

  • Don Quixote

    Cast as Basilio

    Carlos Acosta's exuberant production of this classic tale of friendship, love and loyalty is bursting with joie de vivre.

Videos

News and features

  1. Watch: Carlos Acosta - 'Ballet productions are constant works in progress'

    Watch: Carlos Acosta - 'Ballet productions are constant works in progress'

    The Cuban ballet superstar speaks about his production of Don Quixote and offers cautionary words for young dancers lured by fame.

  2. Don Quixote available to pre-order on DVD

    Don Quixote available to pre-order on DVD

    Carlos Acosta's first full-length work for The Royal Ballet stars Carlos as Basilio and Marianela Nuñez as Kitri.

  3. Watch: Behind the scenes on Giselle

    Watch: Behind the scenes on Giselle

    Another chance to see the backstage films screened as part of our live cinema relay.

  4. Your reaction: Giselle

    Your reaction: Giselle

    A selection of audience tweets from the first night (and matinee) of Peter Wright’s haunting production.

  5. Carlos Acosta, Simon Rattle and John Copley among those recognized in New Year's Honours 2014

    Carlos Acosta, Simon Rattle and John Copley among those recognized in New Year's Honours 2014

    A number of names from the worlds of opera and ballet honoured.

  6. Your reaction: Don Quixote in cinemas

    Your reaction: Don Quixote in cinemas

    What did you think of the live relay of Carlos Acosta's new Royal Ballet production?

View more news and features