Carlos Acosta at the Royal Albert Hall 2018

Repertoire announced for Carlos Acosta at the Royal Albert Hall 2018 Celebrating 30 years in dance

Carlos Acosta and Acosta Danza A Celebration at the Royal Albert Hall Credit Manuel Vasson

Internationally acclaimed dancer Carlos Acosta returns to the Royal Albert Hall.

Acclaimed as one of the most extraordinary dancers of his generation, following his retirement from classical ballet, Carlos Acosta will perform a selection of other favourite and specially commissioned pieces in a wonderful programme marking his thirty years as a dancer. During a remarkable career, Carlos has been hailed by the critics, won countless awards and thrilled audiences the world over.

Carlos Acosta – A Celebration is at the Royal Albert Hall for four performances only . The programme will feature a full company of dancers and is accompanied by a live orchestra.


Internationally renowned Carlos Acosta is delighted to announce the repertoire that he will be performing, alongside his company Acosta Danza, for four special performances only at the Royal Albert Hall from 2nd to 5th October.

In a celebration of thirty years as a professional dancer, these performances mark Acosta’s return to the London stage following retirement from classical ballet in 2016.

The repertoire will include the UK premieres of Christopher Bruce’s Rooster including songs recorded by The Rolling Stones and Alrededor no hay nadaby Goyo Montero, together with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s critically acclaimed Mermaidand a reworked version of Acosta’s Carmen full of Latin influences and accompanied by a live orchestra.

Acosta will also be returning to movie theatres soon in a new feature film inspired by his life story entitled Yuli with screenplay by Paul Laverty and directed by Iciar Bollain.


Performed by: Carlos Acosta and Marta Ortega
Choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Assistant Choreographer: Jason Kittelberger
Music Composed by: Woojae Park and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui with additional music by Erik Satie
Lighting: Fabiana Piccioli
Red dress by: Hussein Chalayan

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is an Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, who is well-known for his interest in different artistic and cultural practices. Following the inclusion of Faun into the Acosta Danza repertory, Cherkaoui was keen to explore another mythical creature for the company, prompting the idea of the mermaid.

Instead of recreating the image of a mermaid literally, Cherkaoui places contemporary dancer Marta Ortega in pointe shoes. Like a fish out of water trying to walk on dry land, or a stranger in unknown territory, the mermaid looks for help and guidance – which comes to her in the guise of Carlos Acosta.

For Mermaid, Cherkaoui works with long-term collaborator, the multi award-winning lighting designer Fabiana Piccioli. The music, made in collaboration with Woojae Park, takes inspiration from the traditional Korean songs of the sea, creating an ethereal and moving landscape for the dancers.

Alrededor no hay nada

Performed by: Acosta Danza Company
Choreography: Goyo Montero
Assistant Choreographer: Ivan Gil Ortega
Music Composed by: Joaquin Sabina and Vinicius de Moraes
Lighting: Goyo Montero

In April 2015, by invitation from Carlos Acosta and Acosta Danza, Goyo Montero restaged his choreography Alrededor no hay nada which formed part of the ballet evening Benditos Malditos, initially based on El Día de la Creación which was designed for the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.

Deeply rooted within the Latin-American reality, Alrededor no hay nada reflects Goyo Montero’s personal dedication to the voices of poets, songwriters and composers such as Joaquín Sabina and Vinícius de Moraes.


Performed by: Carlos Acosta and Acosta Danza Company
Choreography: Christopher Bruce
Assistant Choreographer: Steven Brett
Songs recorded by: The Rolling Stones including Little Red Rooster, Lady Jane, Not Fade Away, Paint it Black, Ruby Tuesday, Play with Fire andSympathy for the Devil.
Lighting Design: Tina MacHugh
Realised by: Christina R. Giannelli
Costume Designer: Marian Bruce

Rooster is a celebration of the music and times of some of The Rolling Stones’ most iconic tracks, the 1960s and ‘70s.

Choreographer Christopher Bruce says of Rooster: “In my teens and twenties I lived with these songs. I have taken eight tracks and linked them with themes present in the lyrics. Taking Little Red Rooster as my starting point, I have created preening cockerels that symbolise the stylish but chauvinistic young men of my youth. Meanwhile, for the most part, the women look on with ironic amusement at the male posturing. The result is something of a battle of the sexes.”


Performed by: Carlos Acosta and Acosta Danza Company
Choreography: Carlos Acosta
Music by: George Bizet
Arrangement: Schedrin
Lighting: Peter Mumford
Design: Tim Hatley

Don José falls in love with Carmen and sacrifices everything to be with her. When Carmen becomes infatuated with the treador Escamillo she loses interest in Don José, whose love quickly turns to violent jealousy. Don José tracks Carmen down and murders her.

Georges Bizet’s Carmen is one of the most powerful operas ever written. Its gorgeous melodies have secured the opera’s hold on the popular imagination – Escamillio’s Toreador Song, Carmen’s Habanera. Don José’s Flower Song and many passages for orchestra and chorus are among the most widely known pieces of Western classical music. This melodic richness, combined with a searingly dramatic story adapted from a novella by Prosper Mérimée, has madeCarmen attractive bait for choreographers: figures as diverse as Marius Petipa, Roland Petit, Alberto Alonso, Mats Ek and Richard Alston have all been drawn to this tale of jealousy and desire.

Carlos Acosta now presents his own adaptation of Bizet and Mérimée’s story. In his new version, the story’s universal and timeless themes are laid bare in a sparse and powerful setting.

Carlos Acosta

Acclaimed as one of the most extraordinary dancers of his generation, Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta has enjoyed a remarkable career, winning countless awards and thrilling audiences the world over.

Acosta was born in Havana and trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba, going on to dance with many of the world’s leading ballet companies including The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, the National Ballet of Cuba and the Houston Ballet.

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. In the 2017/18 Season he returns as Principal Guest Répétiteur for The Royal Ballet.

Acosta founded the dance company Acosta Danza in Cuba and established his own dance school in Havana which opened its doors to its first students in September 2017. 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. His film appearances include in Day of the Flowers and Our Kind of Traitor.

The many awards that Acosta has received throughout his career include 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.

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