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Carlos Acosta

Former Royal Ballet dancer

Biography

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

Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta was a Principal Guest Artist of The Royal Ballet 2003–16. 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. His many roles for the Company included Siegfried (Swan Lake), Albrecht (Giselle), The Prince (The Nutcracker), Des Grieux (Manon), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Basilio (Don Quixote) and Apollo. He has staged Don Quixote and created the new work Carmen for the Company.

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 published his first novel, Pig’s Foot, in 2013. Since leaving The Royal Ballet he has founded the dance company Acosta Danza in Cuba.

Acosta has received many awards throughout his career, including an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2007, a Prix Benois de la Danse in 2008 and an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2014 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. In 2014 he was appointed 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

Nominations for Olivier Awards 2016 announced

Nominations for Olivier Awards 2016 announced

29 February 2016

Nominees include Antonio Pappano, Alessandra Ferri and Wayne McGregor's Woolf Works.

How the ROH Costume department create Tudor costumes for <em>Elizabeth</em> that are light enough to dance in

How the ROH Costume department create Tudor costumes for Elizabeth that are light enough to dance in

6 January 2016

Head of Costume Fay Fullerton on the challenges of re-creating Elizabethan costumes for 21st-century ballet.

ROH TV and radio broadcasts announced for Christmas 2015

ROH TV and radio broadcasts announced for Christmas 2015

9 December 2015

The Christmas line-up features celebrated Royal Opera and Royal Ballet performances, including Carlos Acosta's Carmen and Jonas Kaufmann in Andrea Chénier.

Photos

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in Cubanía

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in La Fille mal gardée, The Royal Ballet

Marianela Nuñez as Lise and Carlos Acosta as Colas in La Fille mal gardée

Carlos Acosta

Natalia Osipova as Giselle and Carlos Acosta as Albrecht in Giselle, The Royal Ballet

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 in Edwaard Liang's Sight Unseen

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in Carmen

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in Carmen

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in Carmen

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez in rehearsal for Carmen, The Royal Ballet

Carlos Acosta and dancers of The Royal Ballet in rehearsal for Carmen, The Royal Ballet

Carlos Acosta and dancers of The Royal Balletin rehearsal for Carmen, The Royal Ballet

Carlos Acosta's curtain call for his final performance with The Royal Ballet on the main stage of the Royal Opera House on 12 November 2015

Carlos Acosta's curtain call for his final performance with The Royal Ballet on the main stage of the Royal Opera House on 12 November 2015

Carlos Acosta talks to Darcey Bussell (The Royal Ballet) about his life in dance

Carlos Acosta as Basilio and Marianela Nuñez as Kitri in Don Quixote

Carlos Acosta as Basilio and Marianela Nuñez as Kitri in Don Quixote

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

Carlos Acosta rehearsing for Don Quixote

Carlos Acosta rehearsing for Don Quixote

Carlos Acosta, Thiago Soares, Marianela Nuñez and Bryan Hymel at the ROH Cinema Season 2013/14 launch

Antonio Pappano and Carlos Acosta at the ROH Cinema Season 2013/14 launch

Carlos Acosta at the ROH Cinema Season 2013/14 launch

Carlos Acosta in Gloria

Sarah Lamb in Gloria, with Thiago Soares and Carlos Acosta

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

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

Natalia Osipova and Carlos Acosta in Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Ballet

Natalia Osipova and Carlos Acosta in Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Ballet

Carlos Acosta in Don Quixote

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht and Natalia Osipova as Giselle in Giselle

In rehearsals for Cubanía

Carlos Acosta in Tocoroco