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Essential clips: Carlos Acosta

Carlos Acosta is one of the most famous living ballet dancers. A superstar in Cuba, where he grew up and studied at the national ballet school, he has since danced all over the world as guest principal with companies like the Royal Ballet in the UK and the Bolshoi in Russia.

Here's a classic solo from Don Quixote (not the very best quality, I'm afraid). It's full of little tricks which make this version his own. Some details to look out for are the brief arabesque at 0.08, the pirouette √† la seconde at 0.20 with the right leg truly at 90° and the right leg coming back up to retir√© at 0.30 to control the end of the pirouette. Compared to, say, Vasiliev who goes off like a sprinter in this solo, Acosta has a slower majesty perhaps due to his longer legs.


The reason for posting this today is because the BBC have just uploaded a short interview clip with Acosta which you can watch here. Acosta suggests he might have defected from Cuba had he not been given artistic freedom - and says his success is thanks to the free ballet education he received.

Here's a slightly longer interview from a few years ago:


There are many clips of Acosta on Youtube. To shortcut to a search for 'Carlos Acosta' click here.

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