Carlos Acosta in a previous Norwich performance

ACOSTA DANZA EVOLUTION – October 28 & 29, 2019

International ballet superstar Carlos Acosta returns to Norwich this October with his critically-acclaimed Cuban company Acosta Danza in an exciting new programme called Evolution which will have its European premiere on the Theatre Royal stage.

Acosta, who takes up the role of Artistic Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in January 2020, will make a guest appearance during the programme on October 28 and 29, dancing in the iconic Rooster, choreographed by Christopher Bruce to music by the Rolling Stones.

The company will also perform new works, Paysage, Soudain, la nuit by visionary Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg, and Satori, by breakthrough Cuban choreographer Raúl Reinoso.

Inspired by Vaslav Nijinsky’s L’après midi d’un faune, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui completes the bill with masterpiece Faun, set to Debussy’s original score with additional music from Nitin Sawhney.

For dance fans around the globe, Acosta is one of the greatest modern-day stars of the classical ballet world. Born in Havana and trained at the National School of Ballet in Cuba, he has danced for most of the leading ballet companies around the world and was a principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet from 2003, dancing lead roles in all the classical productions until he retired from the company in 2015.

His dance company, founded in his home town of Havana, burst onto the dance scene in 2016 with energy and vitality as it received critical and audience acclaim during its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells in the Autumn of that year.

It showcases a mixture of the finest ballet and contemporary dancers Cuba has to offer and highlights the vibrancy and richness of Cuban culture and its artists, performing new and existing pieces by Cuban choreographers who have rarely been seen outside the country, and commissioning new pieces from international choreographers who will take inspiration from its Caribbean nation.

Carlos Acosta explained his aspiration for the company was for it to pay tribute “to the wealth of Cuban culture” and develop “contemporary work, whilst also using elements of classical ballet”.

“We would like the international choreographers that work with Acosta Danza to explore Cuba; to be inspired by us and develop an original aesthetic. We will also offer opportunities to Cuban choreographic talent, aiming for Acosta Danza to be a new platform for our national culture.”

Evolution is produced by Sadler’s Wells and Valid Productions, and is co-produced with Norwich Theatre Royal, Birmingham Hippodrome and The Lowry, Salford. Tickets cost from £10 to £42.50 from Norwich Theatre Royal box office on 01603 63000 or online at

Fans of Carlos Acosta can also see the recently-released film of his life, titled Yuli, at Norwich Playhouse on Sunday October 27 at 2pm, presented by Norwich Theatre Royal and Valid Productions. (Age restriction: 12+).

The film follows Acosta’s life, from his Havana childhood as the youngest of 11 children, to becoming the Royal Ballet’s first black Principal dancer, detailing his close relationship with his father who encouraged him to forge a career in dance.
The film showing is followed by a Q&A with the man himself – tickets cost £25 from the Playhouse box office on 01603 598 598.

A limited number of tickets are also available at £35 each which includes the film showing, Q & A and a fund-raising pre-show Bubbles & Bites supporter event, with proceeds to be shared between the Carlos Acosta International Dance Foundation and Norwich Theatre Royal’s Dance Engagement Programme.


Carlos Acosta says: “Acosta Danza has been founded with the intention of paying tribute to the wealth of Cuban culture. The company will develop its contemporary work, whilst also using elements of classical ballet. It is an aspiration that has grown out of my vision as an artist, incorporating all that I have learned during the past 25 years of my professional career. I want to create a group that would encapsulate me, not only as an artist but also as an individual.
“In my journey through dance I have performed folkloric, popular and urban dances before studying the Cuban ballet technique. I have had access to different styles of classical dance, such as the English and American approaches and in the last few years I have also explored contemporary dance. This combination has shaped me as an artist – I carry it with me and it is present in everything I do.
“I want to find a way in which all this wealth of expression becomes an authentic style in a world that is evolving more and more into globalisation. My resolve to do this has a fundamental pillar: the ‘cubanía’. Ultimately this will be the best illustration of success for our company.
“We would like the international choreographers that work with Acosta Danza to explore Cuba; to be inspired by us and develop an original aesthetic. We know that this will be achieved only through a lot of work over time. Our dancers, who come from different dance backgrounds, will develop through their exposure to different styles and will always aim to attain a level of excellence. This will allow the choreographers to transcend any creative limit. We will also offer opportunities to Cuban choreographic talent, aiming for Acosta Danza to be a new platform for our national culture.
“To all, many thanks for helping us bring Acosta Danza’s dream into the light.”

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.
The company 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.


Acosta Danza Evolution, Norwich Theatre Royal, Monday 28 & Tuesday 29 October 2019. Eves 7.30pm. Tickets £10-£42.50. Discounts for Friends. For more info or to BOOK ONLINE

Yuli: The Carlos Acosta Story, Norwich Playhouse, Sunday 27 October. 2pm. Tickets£25/£35 with Bubbles & Bites (+ £1.80 per transaction when tickets are posted).