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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. In the 2015/16 Season he creates a new ballet for the Company, Carmen.

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

Sky Arts set to broadcast seven ROH productions during autumn 2015

Sky Arts set to broadcast seven ROH productions during autumn 2015

24 August 2015

A number of recent Royal Opera and Royal Ballet productions will be shown on Sky Arts over the coming months.

New book to celebrate Carlos Acosta's 17 years with The Royal Ballet

New book to celebrate Carlos Acosta's 17 years with The Royal Ballet

19 August 2015

Book to feature more than one hundred and fifty photos giving a unique retrospective of our Guest Principal dancer’s career.

Watch: Carlos Acosta on <em>Cubanía</em> and his future plans — 'I want to transition to contemporary dance while I'm at the top'

Watch: Carlos Acosta on Cubanía and his future plans — 'I want to transition to contemporary dance while I'm at the top'

23 July 2015

The Havana-born Principal Guest Artist talks to Jon Snow about his Latin-flavoured mixed programme, his childhood and the recent political changes in Cuba.

Photos

Carlos Acosta in Afternoon of a Faun, The Royal Ballet

Sarah Lamb and Carlos Acosta in Afternoon of a Faun, The Royal Ballet

Marianela Nuñez as Lise, Carlos Acosta as Colas and artists of The Royal Ballet in La Fille mal gardée, The Royal Ballet

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

Carlos Acosta as The Messenger of Death and artists of The Royal Ballet in Song of the Earth

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in George Céspedes' La Ecuación

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in George Céspedes' La Ecuación

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in George Céspedes' La Ecuación

Carlos Acosta and Pieter Symonds in rehearsals for Cubanía

In rehearsals for Cubanía

Carlos Acosta and Pieter Symonds in rehearsals for Cubanía

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

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

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

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht in Giselle

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht and Natalia Osipova as Giselle in Giselle

Carlos Acosta as Albrecht and Natalia Osipova as Giselle in Giselle

Carlos Acosta in Requiem

Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in Apollo

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

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

Carlos Acosta rehearsing for Don Quixote

Carlos Acosta in Gloria

Natalia Osipova and Carlos Acosta in Swan Lake.

Carlos Acosta in Romeo and Juliet

Carlos Acosta in Requiem

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

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in Cubanía

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

Carlos Acosta

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