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.
Carlos retired from Classical ballet in 2016, after 28 years, 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 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 not only 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.
In January 2019 Carlos was appointed as Director of The Birmingham Royal Ballet and will commence this role in January 2020.