Ballet star Acosta's company is part of Cuban arts rebirth

From Reuters - January 24, 2018

HAVANA (Reuters) - Former Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta, whose dynamic masculinity on stage exemplified the style of his native Cuba, is breaking more boundaries as his young dance company showcases more foreign choreography in an island-wide cultural revival.

Cuba has been isolated for many years, said Acosta in his companys sun-drenched studio in Havana, adding that local audiences were versed mainly in Cuban versions of classical pieces like Don Quixote and Giselle.

Since retiring from the Royal Ballet and founding Acosta Danza in 2015 with the aim of fusing classic and contemporary ballet, the 44-year-old artist has brought the work of many renowned foreign choreographers like American Justin Peck to his Caribbean island. Some have created new pieces for the company.

We are bringing more choreographers of relevance to Cuba than any other company but at the same time launching the career of Cuban choreographers, he said in an interview, adding that he hoped the new pieces would reflect the new Cuba.

In its new season next month, Acosta Danza will perform four Cuban premieres of pieces by foreign choreographers, including Rooster, created in 1991 by Britains Christopher Bruce.

Rooster, which Acosta performed during his 1990s stint at the Houston Ballet, celebrates the swinging 1960s and 1970s to Rolling Stones music once banned in Cuba.

The veteran British bands concert in Havana in March 2016 in the wake of former U.S. President Barack Obamas historic visit, was a symbolic moment in Cubas cultural and political re-engagement with the West.


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