Carlos Acosta

Principal, Royal Ballet London


Carlos Acosta


Carlos was born in Cuba in 1973. He started dancing at the insistence of his father as a means of occupying his spare time.  He began dancing at the National Ballet School of Cuba, Havana, when he was ten.  In June 1991 he received his diploma with maximum qualifications and a gold medal.


He has won numerous awards ranging from the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne (January 1990), Grand Prix and Gold Medal at the Fourth Annual Competition of Ballet in Paris (November 1990), and the Grand Prix in the third Juvenile Competition of Dance (June 1991) and the International Critics Prize from the Chilean dance critics.


From 1989 to 1991 he performed throughout the world guesting with many other companies including ballet companies in Italy, Mexico and Venezuela.  In the 1991/92 season he was invited to dance with the English National Ballet in London and made his debut in the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor and also appeared as the Prince in Ben Stevensonfs The Nutcracker and Cinderella, partnering Eva Evdokimova and Ludmilla Semenyaka.


From 1992 to 1993 he danced as a member of the National Ballet of Cuba and October 1993 and September 1994 he toured with the company to Madrid, Spain where he danced the principal roles in Giselle, Don Quixote and Swan Lake.


In November 1993 he was invited to join the Houston Ballet as a principal dancer where he made his American stage debut as the Prince in Stevensonfs The Nutcracker.  Following this his repertory with the Houston Ballet included Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Solor in the third act of La Bayadère, Basilio in Don Quixote, Stevensonfs Britten Pas de deux, the male lead in Harald Landerfs Etudes, and Jiri Kylianfs Symphony in D.


Acosta made his first appearance with The Royal Ballet in William Forsythefs In the middle, somewhat elevated in October 1998 and subsequently appeared as Jean de Brienne in Rudolf Nureyevfs production of Raymonda Act III, Colas in Frederick Ashtonfs La Fille mal gardée, Siegfried in Swan Lake and Actaeon in the Diana & Actaeon Pas de deux.


His MacMillan repertory includes The Brother in Kenneth MacMillanfs My Brother, My Sisters, Solo Boy in Gloria, Requiem, Des Grieux in MacMillanfs Manon, the Messenger of Death in Song of the Earth and Crown Prince Rudolf in  Mayerling.  Other roles include Albrecht in Peter Wrightfs production of Giselle, the Principal Boy in Rhapsody, Nacho Duatofs Remanso, The Prince in Peter Wrightfs production of The Nutcracker, Franz in Ninette de Valoisf production of Coppélia, Nijinskyfs LfAprès-midi dfun faune, the Boy with Matted Hair in Anthoy Tudorfs Shadowplay, Basilio in Nureyevfs Don Quixote, the Spectre in Mikhail Fokinefs Le Spectre de la Rose, George Balanchinefs Apollo, The Four Temperaments title role in his The Prodigal Son and Ashtonfs Voices of Spring and Rhapsody.


In the 2005/2006 Season he made his debut as Brighella in Glen Tetleyfs Pierrot Lunaire, the male role in Jerome Robbinsfs Afternoon of a Faun and the title role in MacMillanfs Romeo and Juliet.


He has created roles in Ashley Pagefs Hidden Variables, William Tuckettfs 3:4 and Kim Brandstrupfs Rushes – Fragments of a Lost Story.


Television performances include two live BBC broadcasts from The Royal Opera House; the Opening Celebration in December 1999 when Acosta performed the Manfs Solo in Le Corsaire, February 2000 in the role of Franz in Ninette de Valoisf Coppélia, Colas in the BBC2 broadcast of La Fille mal gardée in February 2005 and Voices of Spring in December 2004.  He was also featured in the BBC documentary Imagine in June 2003. He has brought his own production, Tocororo, to Sadlerfs Wells two years running and his autobiography No Way Home is published by Harper Collins.