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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. His many roles for the Company include 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 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

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.

BBC to air 'Imagine...' documentary following Carlos Acosta on 8 December 2015

BBC to air 'Imagine...' documentary following Carlos Acosta on 8 December 2015

1 December 2015

The special will see the Principal Guest Artist offer unique insights into the creation of Carmen, and a glimpse into his future plans.

Photos

Pieter Symonds and Carlos Acosta in Cubanía

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in La Fille mal gardée, 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

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

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

Carlos Acosta

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

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

In rehearsals for Cubanía

Carlos Acosta in Tocoroco

Carlos Acosta in Tocoroco

Natalia Osipova and Carlos Acosta in Swan Lake.

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

Carlos Acosta in Don Quixote

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 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)

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

Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo at the Latin-UK Awards