Carlos Acosta Danza ‘Debut’ legendary Cuban Ballet at NY City Center

Acosta Danza, the new contemporary ballet company of Cuban Royal Ballet legend Carlos Acosta, is coming to New York City Center’s Mainstage for the ¡Adelante, Cuba! Festival, Wednesday – Friday, April 25 – 27, 2018. #AdelanteCubaNYCC

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Dancing is Part of Being Cuban

Dancing is how we pray and how we celebrate life. Dancing connects us spiritually with our ancestors and expresses our individuality within our communities.

We have suffered a lot from slavery, colonialism, politics, and poverty. When we need help solving a problem, we dance.

Cuban Ballet is Exceptional

Cuba is a world center for ballet. Our Russian system of arts education produces world-class artists. Studying the arts in Cuba is like going to Juilliard. It’s tough, but training in Cuba is a dream of many Latin American dancers. It is a way to get to New York and the dance world at large.

Cuban movement with Cuban ballet technique is magical. You want to see this.

Carlos Acosta is a Royal Ballet Legend

Carlos Acosta is one of the great Cuban ballet dancers. He was born poor, the eleventh child of his family, in Havana in 1973. Determination got Acosta trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba.

In 1990, Acosta won the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne and several other international competitions. That got him into the English National Ballet.

Acosta returned to Cuba and danced with the National Ballet of Cuba under Alicia Alonso, the legendary mother of Cuban Ballet. From there, Acosta became a Principal dancer at the Houston Ballet.

He joined The Royal Ballet in 1998 and after 2003 worked as a guest artist at the world’s leading ballet companies including American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet, and the Bolshoi Ballet.

The Royal Ballet hires dancers who truly have a regal bearing. You have to move with the charisma of a king or queen. The Company deserves credit for being one of the world’s most diverse ballet companies.

Acosta’s semi-autobiographical show Tocororo (named after Cuba’s national bird) broke box office records at Sadler’s Wells in London (the world’s preeminent international dance theater) and was nominated for an Olivier Award (Britain’s theater, dance, and opera awards) in 2003. In 2007, his Carlos Acosta and friends of The Royal Ballet won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

Acosta has appeared in several films and develops popular award-winning shows in Europe including new productions of Carmen and Don Quixote for The Royal Ballet.

Acosta is known for his athleticism. Being Black in a White ballet world, you have to be twice as good to be accepted. Like other dance legends, Acosta has an extension that enables him to dominate a grand stage, and he doesn’t just dance the beat. Acosta has an internal clock that must operate in milliseconds like a computer because every movement is fully expressed. It must feel wonderful to partner with him.

Back home, Acosta founded the Carlos Acosta International Dance Foundation to develop young dancers, and Acosta Danza, a company of young talented contemporary ballet dancers from Cuba.

The legend retired from the ballet stage in 2016. We call him affectionally, Carlitos. Mention him to someone who knows him personally, and they will touch their hearts and say, “Oh, Carlitos.” He is a great man.

Acosta Danza Debut

Carlos founded Acosta Danza in 2015. The company debuted at Havana’s Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso in 2016.

Acosta Danza Debut is the company’s international debut. They went first to Sadler’s Wells in London in 2017. Now they are coming to New York City Center.

Acosta Danza Debut at New York City Center

Acosta Danza Debut opens the ¡ Adelante Cuba ! Festival at New York City Center in Midtown, Manhattan, Wednesday – Friday, April 25 – 27, 2018.

Acosta is dancing in one of the pieces. The program is:

Alrededor no hay nada

Acosta Danza performing 'Alrededor no hay nada.' Courtesy of Andrew Lang / Acosta Danza.

Acosta Danza performing ‘Alrededor no hay nada.’ Courtesy of Andrew Lang / Acosta Danza.

“There is nothing around here” is choreographed by Goyo Montero.

El Cruce sobre el Niágara

Acosta Danza performing 'El cruce sobre el Niagra.' Courtesy of Andrew Lang / Acosta Danza.

Acosta Danza performing ‘El cruce sobre el Niagra.’ Courtesy of Andrew Lang / Acosta Danza.

“The Crossing Over Niagara” is choreographed by Marianela Boán to music by Olivier Messiaen. The narrative is based on Alonso Alegría’s play about Blondin, a tightrope walker who carried a friend across Niagara Falls on his back. The two must trust each other with perfect balance.


Acosta Danza performance of 'Nosotros.' Courtesy of Yuris Norido / Acosta Danza.

Acosta Danza performance of ‘Nosotros.’ Courtesy of Yuris Norido / Acosta Danza.

“Us” is choreographed by Raúl Reinoso. It features live musical accompaniment from cellist Cicely Parnas and pianist José Gavilondo.


Mermaid is choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Carlos Acosta himself performs in a new, lyrical duet about a tipsy encounter between strangers.


Acosta Danza performing 'Twelve.' Courtesy of Johan Persson / Acosta Danza.

Acosta Danza performing ‘Twelve.’ Courtesy of Johan Persson / Acosta Danza.

Twelve is choreographed by Jorge Crecis. It is a fast-paced frenzy that utilizes glow sticks, water bottles, and immaculate timing to explore the limits of the human body.

The piece is about losing yourself in concentration as the dancers throw and catch water bottles while dancing through increasingly complicated steps.


Carlos Acosta doesn’t just dance. He makes dance history. You can be part of it at the ¡ Adelante Cuba ! Festival at New York City Center.

Acosta Danza Tickets

Tickets start at $15.

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Visiting New York City Center

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