In brilliant news for Birmingham, international ballet superstar Carlos Acosta will join Birmingham Royal Ballet as Director! He will take up his appointment in January 2020. Ahead of this, he brought his critically acclaimed Cuban company, Acosta Danza, to Birmingham Hippodrome for a sensational show last night.

Entitled Evolution, it was an evening of new and existing works, which brought together ballet, rumba and contemporary dance, set to a soundtrack of classical, electronic and rock music.

Acosta Danza was created by Carlos Acosta in 2015 to harness and develop the talent emerging from Cuba. And WHAT TALENT!

It was a sensational assault on the senses and breathtakingly beautiful. It was imbibed with Cuba’s rich musical and dance influences, with a repertoire to push all conventional boundaries.

The evening started with Satori, by breakthrough Cuban choreographer Raúl Reinoso. In Zen Buddhism, the word Satori refers to spiritual illumination. Against folk and electronic sounds, the dancers journeyed between abstract scenes towards a discovery of truth. The textures of starkly lit drapery held to and around and between dancers’ bodies was especially clever.

Carlos Acosta Birmingham Royal Ballet

Next, the company performed new work, PaysageSoudainla nuit by visionary Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg. It was a mesmerising celebration of youth between twilight and dawns and long grasses and Cuban music.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is one of the most sought-after contemporary choreographers in the world. And now I know why. Inspired by Vaslav Nijinsky’s L’après midi d’un faune, his masterpiece Faun is set to Debussy’s original score – but with additional music from Nitin Sawhney. This piece, danced superbly by Zeleidy Crespo and Carlos Luis Blanco, pairs modern and primeval, strength and beauty. It shows life as a balancing act of dualities and power play between forces.

Carlos Acosta Birmingham Royal Ballet

To end the evening, Acosta strutted onto stage in the iconic Rooster, choreographed by Christopher Bruce to music by the Rolling Stones. Preening cockerels symbolise the stylish but chauvinistic young men from the 1960s and 70s. The women look on in ironic amusement.

Carlos Acosta has ARRIVED in Brum. In STYLE.

Ruth x

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