Cuban Dancer Carlos Acosta Named New Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet

In addition to the good news about his new position, dancer Carlos Acosta has been nominated for the Goya Awards Best Actor for his role in the film ’Yuli’ (EFE)

14ymedio biggerLondon/Havana, EFE/14ymedio, 15 January 2019 — Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta was appointed as the new director of the Royal Ballet of Birmingham today, according to the company, one of the most prestigious in the United Kingdom.

Acosta, 45, who will assume the post in January 2020, was selected in a competition overseen by a group of international experts, the Royal Ballet of Birmingham said in a statement.

The tenure of the Cuban will begin after the current director, the British David Bintley, announced his retirement for next July, at the end of the season.

With regards to this new responsibility, Acosta declared that it is “a great honor and a privilege” to have been appointed to head the Birmingham Royal Ballet, which has its headquarters in the Hippodrome theater of that city, a building tailored to the needs of dance.

“I am a great admirer of its heritage and what David Bintley has done to establish the company as one of the leading classical ballet companies, following the wonderful foundations established by Sir Peter Wright. My desire is to build on its classical traditions, expand its repertoire and reach new and more diverse audiences,” he added.

The dancer wants to define what it is “to be a leading ballet company in the world in the 21st century.” He also reaffirmed his commitment to Acosta Danza and the Carlos Acosta International Dance Foundation, which he says “remains unshakeable.”

“I believe that my appointment as the Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet can only improve and develop the opportunities I can provide to both, and that, in turn, that experience will help me develop the Birmingham Royal Ballet,” he said.

Added to this good news at the beginning of the year is his nomination for best actor in the Goya Awards for his role in the film Yuli, directed by Spaniard Iciar Bollain. The film was presented at the Havana Film Festival, although the book which inspired the film has not been sold on the island.

In his autobiographical book, No Way Home, Acosta denounces the racism he suffered within the National Ballet of Cuba and especially from its director, Alicia Alonso. The Cuban edition titled Sin mirar atrás was to be published by the Arte y Literatura publishing house but it was rejected because of the criticism towards the prima ballerina, according to the writer Jorge Ángel Pérez.

Acosta also wanted to promote the rescue of the buildings of the Dance Faculty at the University of the Arts (ISA) in the Cuban capital, which in recent decades have suffered from lack of maintenance, but still retain the architectural beauty of their origins.


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