Following the worldwide success of Yuli, a film about international ballet star Carlos Acosta, Dance Consortium is delighted to announce new spring 2020 tour dates across the UK for his critically acclaimed Cuban company Acosta Danza
★★★★ “Beg, borrow or steal a ticket for Acosta’s exhilarating Cuban trip. A striking show” Evening Standard
★★★★ “Acosta’s new company balances Cuban roots with a sense of adventure” The Independent
Presented by Dance Consortium, critically acclaimed Cuban dance company Acosta Danza returns to the UK with new spring 2020 tour dates for Evolution. The 2020 tour commences at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton on 3 March with subsequent performances in Cardiff, Inverness, Bradford, Brighton, Canterbury, Salford, Plymouth and Newcastle, and concludes in Nottingham on 11 April.
The 2020 spring performances follow Acosta Danza’s Evolution autumn 2019 tour to Norwich Theatre Royal, Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, Birmingham Hippodrome and Sadler’s Wells, London.
The tour is an exciting addition to Dance Consortium’s 2019 – 2020 performance schedule and continues the organisation’s unparalleled commitment to bringing the best international contemporary dance to audiences across the UK. The tour marks Dance Consortium’s 46th tour since 2000.
As Cuba opened up to the world, Carlos Acosta launched Acosta Danza in Havana after retiring from The Royal Ballet in 2015. Under his artistic directorship, the company pays tribute to the vibrancy of Cuban culture and features a mixture of the finest ballet and contemporary dancers Cuba has to offer.
Acosta Danza’s Evolution bill includes Faun by twice Olivier award-winning Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, a celebration of the 1960s and ‘70s in which Carlos Acosta will make a guest appearance. Completing the programme is Paysage, Soudain, la nuit by visionary Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg.
Christopher Bruce is one of Britain’s leading choreographers and was appointed a CBE in 1998 for a lifetime’s service to dance. Bruce’s humorous and energetic Rooster is set to songs recorded by The Rolling Stones: Little Red Rooster; Lady Jane; Not Fade Away; Paint it Black; Ruby Tuesday; Play With Fire; and Sympathy for the Devil. It was originally created for Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve in 1991 and received its British premiere performed by London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1992. Acosta Danza first performed Rooster in Cuba in February 2018.
Flemish-Moroccan Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is one of the most sought after contemporary choreographers in the world and is known for his dance collaborations with other cultures and styles including award-winning Sutra (with monks from the Shaolin Temple), m¡longa (with tango dancers from Argentina), Dunas (with a flamenco dancer) and zero degrees (with kathak dancer Akram Khan). He has been the artistic director at the Royal Ballet of Flanders since 2015 and choreographed Beyonce’s Grammys performance in 2017.
Cherkaoui’s Faun was created in 2009 and first premiered at Sadler’s Wells. Inspired by Vaslav Nijinsky’s L’après midi d’un faune it was originally commissioned by Sadler’s Wells for its production In the Spirit of Diaghilev celebrating the centenary of the founding of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Faun is set to Debussy’s original score with additional music by Nitin Sawhney and costumes from Hussein Chalayan.
As part of the first British royal visit to Cuba in March 2019, Acosta and the dancers of Acosta Danza welcomed the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to their Havana studios where they presented a variety of works including part of the duet from Faun.
Pontus Lidberg is as a creative and visionary artist well known for bringing dance and film together. Lidberg approaches Cuban culture in Paysage, Soudain la nuit, through rumba, a genre of traditional Cuban music with African roots. Taking as a starting point the score by acclaimed Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, Lidberg has created a celebration of youth between twilight and dawn, with additional music by Swedish composer Stefan Levin. An artistic installation ‘Vientos’ (2017) by the Cuban Elizabet Cerviño is used on stage. Created for Acosta Danza, the company performed the world premiere of Paysage, Soudain la nuit in Havana in 2018.
Lidberg has created more than 40 works for New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Semperoper Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, BalletBoyz, Beijing Dance Theatre and Morphoses, amongst others. His film Labyrinth Within won best picture at the Dance on Camera Festival in 2012.
The spring 2020 Evolution tour includes seven audio-described performances for blind and visually-impaired patrons. Dance Consortium will work with Sightlines Audio Description Services to deliver the audio-described performances in Southampton, Bradford, Brighton, Canterbury, Salford, Plymouth and Newcastle.
Yuli, the film based on Acosta’s autobiography, No Way Home: A Cuban Dancer’s Story, received its UK premiere on 12 April 2019. Performances from Acosta Danza were woven throughout the film, which was nominated for five Spanish ‘Goya’ awards, including best new actor for Acosta, best cinematography and best adapted screenplay.
Earlier this year it was announced Carlos Acosta will be the new Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet. The appointment commences in January 2020.
Acosta Danza’s Evolution UK Tour Spring 2020 is co-produced by Sadler’s Wells and Valid Productions and presented by Dance Consortium.
Acosta Danza’s Evolution autumn 2019 tour is produced by Sadler’s Wells and Valid Productions, co-produced with Birmingham Hippodrome; The Lowry, Salford; and Norwich Theatre Royal. There is an additional work in the autumn tour, which is not in the Dance Consortium programme: Satori by Raúl Reinoso
Acosta Danza in Evolution – UK Tour Spring 2020 – Listings information:
3 & 4 March at 7.30pm (ON SALE)
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
6 & 7 March at 8pm (ON SALE 5 August)
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
10 & 11 March at 7.30pm (ON SALE)
Eden Court, Inverness
13 & 14 March at 7.30pm (ON SALE SOON)
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
17 & 18 March at 7.30pm (ON SALE SOON)
20 & 21 March at 7.30pm (ON SALE 5 August)
The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
24 & 25 March at 7.30pm (ON SALE)
The Lowry, Salford Quays
27 & 28 March at 7.30pm (ON SALE 19 July)
Plymouth Theatre Royal
7 & 8 April at 7.30pm (ON SALE 5 July)
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
10 & 11 April at 8pm (ON SALE 5 July)
Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Paysage, Soudain, la nuit – Pontus Lidberg (17 mins)
Faun – Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (15 mins)
INTERVAL (20 mins)
Rooster – Christopher Bruce (27 Minutes)
Running time: 80 minutes (one interval)
Acosta Danza was created by Carlos Acosta in 2015 to harness and develop the young creative dance talent emerging from Cuba. The ethos of the company is to produce dancers that can combine both classical and contemporary genres effortlessly, imbibed with Cuba’s rich musical and dance influences, to create repertoire that is exciting and stimulating and that pushes conventional boundaries. A Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company, Acosta Danza has already been fortunate enough to work with some of the world’s leading choreographers. It also encourages the emergence and development of new choreography from among its own members, to great success. The company performed for the first time at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso in Cuba in April 2016 and has since performed across Europe and internationally to great critical acclaim.
Autumn 2017 saw the company make its debut in the UK at Sadler’s Wells, before embarking on a UK-wide tour produced by Valid Productions and Sadler’s Wells, with co-production support from The Movement and Festpielhaus St Pölten. http://www.acostadanza.com
Born in Havana in 1973, Carlos Acosta trained at The National Ballet School of Havana in Cuba. After winning a succession of awards, including 1990’s Prix De Lausanne, Carlos went on to dance professionally with the world’s most prestigious companies, with London’s Royal Ballet becoming his home. In 2016, after a career spanning 28 years, Carlos retired from Classical ballet having performed almost every classical role from Spartacus to Romeo. Carlos created many award winning shows throughout his ballet career including Tocororo, and Carlos Acosta and Friends of the Royal Ballet. He also choreographed the Royal Ballet Productions of Don Quixote and Carmen, plus the latest Guys and Dolls production for the West End. He has also written two books, including a work of fiction Pigs Foot and the other being his very honest and heartfelt autobiography No Way Home. ‘Yuli’, a film inspired by his life has premiered at the San Sebastian, Havana and Berlin Film Festivals to great critical acclaim with the London Premier in April 2019. Carlos has been nominated for a Best New Actor award from The 33rd Goya Awards Ceremony to be held in Seville in February 2019.
Carlos’s extraordinary contribution to dance continues to this day and was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2014 when he was awarded a CBE. In 2018 Carlos received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award from The Royal Academy of Dance in recognition of his standing as one of the most influential figures in Dance today. His athleticism, the sheer joy of dancing as well as his tremendous ability to convey emotion, inspired a generation of dancers across the globe. His very touching story and the obstacles he has overcome speak for themselves. The culture and history of Carlos’ homeland have been important influences throughout his career and will continue to be so as he has established his own dance company – Acosta Danza in 2016. The company tours the world with its vibrant combination of classical and contemporary, fused with Cuban elements of dance. In 2017 Carlos opened the Carlos Acosta International Dance Foundation. The Foundation gives young dancers the same opportunities that he himself benefited from, by providing a three year dance training programme, free at the point of delivery in an inspirational setting.
Carlos has been appointed as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet and will commence this role in January 2020.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s debut as a choreographer was in 1999 with Andrew Wale’s contemporary musical Anonymous Society. Since then, he has made more than 30 fully-fledged choreographic pieces and picked up a slew of prestigious awards.
While Cherkaoui’s initial pieces (Rien de Rien, Foi, Tempus Fugit) were made as a core member of the Belgian collective les ballets C de la B., he also made work that both expanded and consolidated his artist vision: Ook (2000) with Nienke Reehorst and the mentally disabled actors of Theater Stap, D’avant (2002) with Damien Jalet and dancer-singers of the Sasha Waltz & Guests company and zero degrees (2005) with Akram Khan. Between 2006 -2009, during his stint as associate artist at Het Toneelhuis in Antwerp, he extended his exploration of the equations between self and otherness through Sutra (2008), his dialogue with the warrior monks of the Shaolin Temple, Dunas (2009) alongside flamenco bailaora, Maria Pagés, and Play (2010) with kutchipudi dancer Shantala Shivalingappa.
In 2010, with the founding of his company Eastman in Antwerp, Cherkaoui began a new phase in his trajectory, marked by the multiple-award-winning Babel, co-choreographed with Damien Jalet and designed by Antony Gormley. TeZukA (2011) – his homage to Osamu Tezuka, the founding father of modern manga – and Puz/zle (2012) followed. Spring 2013 saw the premiere of 4D (Eastman), Boléro (co-created with Damien Jalet and Marina Abramovic, for the Ballet of the Opera of Paris) and m¡longa (for Sadler’s Wells).
Cherkaoui also received much international acclaim for his choreography in Joe Wright’s feature film Anna Karenina (2012). Cherkaoui directed and choreographed Shell Shock (2014), an opera for La Monnaie (Brussels) with music by Nicholas Lens and libretto by Nick Cave.
In 2008, Sadler’s Wells named him as an Associate Artist, and since 2010 he has been artistic director of the Festival Equilibrio in Rome. He has now been appointed as the new artistic director of the Royal Ballet Flanders.
In just a few short years Swedish choreographer, film-maker and dancer, Pontus Lidberg firmly established himself as a creative and visionary artist bringing dance and film together. He is recognised for his dance film The Rain, for which he received numerous awards. The New York Times wrote that The Rain “illustrates what filmed dance can say that staged dance cannot.”
As a choreographer for the stage, Lidberg has created more than 40 works for dance companies such as New York City Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Semperoper Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, The Royal Swedish Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, Beijing Dance Theatre, BalletBoyz, Morphoses, as well as for his own concert group, Pontus Lidberg Dance.
He was nominated for a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) in outstanding visual design, for his dance and film evening WITHIN (Labyrinth Within) – created during his 2012 tenure as resident artistic director of Morphoses. The New York Times applauded the premiere of this contemporary story ballet, “told without mime and driven by emotional and psychological textures… [Lidberg] sublimates the academic language of ballet, dissolving it into knotty partnering that manages, by and large, to avoid the churning clichés of much contemporary movement in the form. It is refreshing to see a ballet embracing the virtues of restraint.”
His film, Labyrinth Within won best picture at Lincoln Center’s Dance on Camera Festival in 2012. Raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Lidberg trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. He holds an MFA in contemporary performing arts from the University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts.
One of Britain’s leading choreographers, with an international reputation, Christopher Bruce trained at the Ballet Rambert School. He joined Ballet Rambert in 1963 where he was acclaimed as one of the most gifted performers of his generation, and remembered particularly for his performances in Glen Tetley’s Pierrot Lunaire and his own Cruel Garden. He is recognised as the last major choreographer to have been nurtured by Marie Rambert.
In addition to performing and choreographing, Christopher was associate director of Ballet Rambert from 1975 to 1979 and in 1980 became its associate choreographer. In 1994 he returned to the company as artistic director until 2002. Among his best-known works are Cruel Garden, Ghost Dances, Requiem, Intimate Pages, Sergeant Early’s Dream, The Dream is Over, Swansong, Rooster, Moonshine and Four Scenes all of which have been televised.
Christopher has also choreographed for Tanz Forum, Cologne, Batsheva Dance Company, Australian Dance Theatre, Nederlands Dans Theater, Cullberg Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Gulbenkian Ballet, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, English National Ballet (where he was associate choreographer from 1986 to 1991), Houston Ballet (where he was resident choreographer from 1989 to 1998 and subsequently associate choreographer) and The Royal Ballet. He has choreographed for musicals, plays, operas, television and videos.
Christopher Bruce was awarded a CBE in 1998.
Dance Consortium is a group of 20 large-scale UK venues with a shared passion for engaging people with the best contemporary dance from across the world. Since its formation in 2000 Dance Consortium has presented over 40 tours by 24 different companies from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, France, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Israel and the USA. Their performances and education activities have been experienced by hundreds of thousands of people across all parts of the UK. Dance Consortium receives investment as a national portfolio organisation of Arts Council England.
Dance Consortium members: Grand Opera House Belfast; Birmingham Hippodrome; Alhambra Theatre Bradford; Brighton Dome; Marlowe Theatre Canterbury; Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff; Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin; Festival Theatre Edinburgh; Eden Court Inverness, Curve Theatre Leicester; The Peacock, London; Sadler’s Wells London; Milton Keynes Theatre; Theatre Royal Newcastle; Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham with Dance 4; Theatre Royal Plymouth; The Lowry Salford; The Mayflower, Southampton; New Victoria Theatre, Woking; Hull, New Theatre; Norwich Theatre Royal.
Photo credits L-R:
Paysage, Soudain, la Nuit – photography Panchito González
Rooster – photography Tristram Kenton
Faun – photography Toti Ferrar