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Thursday, 15 August 2013

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRO - CUBAN BALLET DANCER - CARLOS ACOSTA HAS DANCED WITH MANY COMPANIES, THE ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET, NATIONAL BALLET OF CUBS, HUSTON BALLET AND AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Carlos Acosta  born 2 June 1973 is a Cuban ballet dancer. He has danced with many companies including the English National Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, Houston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. He has been a permanent member of The Royal Ballet since 1998, and in 2003 he was promoted to Principal Guest Artist, a rank which reduced his commitment to the Royal Ballet, enabling him to concentrate on a growing schedule of international guest appearances and tours.

Life and career

Acosta was born in Havana, Cuba, on Saturday 2 June 1973, as the eleventh and last child in an impoverished Havana family whose home was in one of the rougher quarters of that city. His father was a truck driver, and his mother often suffered from health problems. The island nation of Cuba had become a socialist state after the 1959 victory by Marxist guerrilla leader Fidel Castro, but remained overwhelmingly poor. Acosta grew up with no toys, sometimes went shoeless, and did not even have a birthday cake until he turned 23. The streets of his neighborhood provided plenty of entertainment, however, and he spent his time playing soccer, break-dancing, and raiding nearby mango groves with his friends. He was an over-energetic child, and Pedros Acosta, his father, felt that his youngest son would soon land in serious trouble. Dance training at one of the state-funded schools, his father decided, would teach the boy discipline and provide him with a free lunch every day. He studied ballet at the Cuban National Ballet School with many influential teachers including Ramona de Sáa. In June 1991 he received his diploma with maximum qualifications and a gold medal.' Acosta is currently considered to be one of the most influential male dancers of our time.
The Cuban-born dancer, of mixed Spanish and African heritage, came to prominence in the early 1990s while still in his teens, and esteemed dance companies, including North America and Europe began offering him lead romantic roles over the next decade. After finishing a five-year chapter of his career in Houston, Acosta joined England's Royal Ballet in 1998. With his fabled grace and athleticism, he has earned comparisons to Mikhail Baryshnikov or Rudolf Nureyev. A writer for London's Independent newspaper described Acosta as "a dancer who slashes across space faster than anyone else, who lacerates the air with shapes so clear and sharp they seem to throw off sparks".

Awards

  • 1990 : Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne
  • 1990 : Grand Prix at the 4th biennial Concours International de Danse de Paris
  • 1990 : Vignale Danza Prize in Italy
  • 1990 : Frédéric Chopin Prize, awarded by the Polish Artistic Corporation
  • 1991 : Prize for Merit in the Young Talent Competition, Positano, Italy
  • 1991 : Osimodanza Prize, Italy
  • 1991 : Grand Prix at Cuba's prestigious Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC) competition,
  • 1995 : Dance Fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation, United States
  • 2004 : Nominated for an Olivier Award
  • 2008 : Prix Benois de la Danse

Companies and roles

From 1989 to 1991 Carlos performed throughout the world guesting with many companies including the Compagnia Teatro Nuovo di Torino in Italy, where he danced alongside Luciana Savignano, and the Teatro Teresa Carreño de Caracas in Venezuela.

English National Ballet

At the invitation of Ivan Nagy, Carlos danced with the English National Ballet in London during the 1991/92 season. He made his debut in the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor and also appeared in Cinderella, partnering Eva Evdokimova and Ludmila Semenyaka, Le Spectre de la RoseLes Sylphides and as the Prince in Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker.

National Ballet of Cuba

In 1992 and 1993 he was a member of the National Ballet of Cuba under the artistic director Alicia Alonso, rising to principal dancer in 1994. In October 1993 and September 1994 he toured with the company to Madrid, Spain, where he danced various roles including Albrecht in GiselleBasilio in Don Quixote and Siegfried in Swan Lake.

Houston Ballet


In November 1993 he was invited by Ben Stevenson, the artistic director of the Houston Ballet, to join the company as a principal dancer, and he made his American stage debut as the Prince in The Nutcracker. Following this, his repertory with the Houston Ballet included: