Reasons to go and see Premiere Plus

Carlos Acosta in a Red Run curtain call after ...

Carlos Acosta in a Red Run curtain call after dancing George Balanchine’s Tzigane. Taken at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on 04/03/08 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cuban born Carlos Acosta (born 2 June 1973) of mixed Spanish and African heritage and long-limbed Royal Ballet Principal Zenaida Yanowsky (born 23 December 1975, Lyon, France) descended from Russian aristocrats (last seen as a stylish Utah longhorn ram in David Bintley‘s 1988 ballet Still Life at the Penguin Caféin March Royal Triple Bill) are going to be seen in an intriguing mix of modern and classical ballet. What I saw from the works to be presented looked very nice.

Swan Lake ballet at London's Royal Opera House...

Swan Lake ballet at London’s Royal Opera House. Odette (pictured here) is played by Zenaida Yanowsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1992 and 1993 he was a member of the National Ballet of Cuba under the artistic director Alicia Alonso, rising to principal dancer in 1994. Since 1998 he became a permanent member of The Royal Ballet and was promoted to Principal Guest Artist in 2003, a rank which reduced his commitment to the Royal Ballet, enabling him to concentrate on a growing schedule of international guest appearances and tours which he’ll did well out of it.

Premieres Plus combines Carlos Acosta his outstanding classical technique, which could recently also be wondered by 45000 spectators at the O2 where he gave a marvelous performance of McMillans Romeo and Julia, with some of the most celebrated works of recent years. The night includes Russell Maliphant’s masterpiece “Two”, originally created for Sylvie Guillem.

Will Tuckett’s “On Before”, originally created for the Ballet Boyz’s Billy Trevett and Royal Ballet principal Zenaida Yanowsky, and now performed for the first time by Carlos and Zenaida to John Adams’s masterwork “Christian Zeal & Activity”.

Those who did not have had the chance to see him perform should perhaps hurry. Because Acosta has pain in his hips and has had repeated surgeries on his right ankle. He also uttered already that it could be that his time to retire has been looking around the corner. Now aged 38 and living in London, he feels he has “maybe three more years” before he will retire.

“I still think I have what it takes, but sometimes it’s difficult to know when it’s the right time, I think I still have the quality people like – but it’s not very far away now.”

“Ballet has been like being married for 30 years, and then for some reason life takes you on different paths, but you still have the memories of the woman you love – that’s me and ballet.”

This morning he also said he was really “out” after he had done his manage at the O2 on June the 17th. The stage being so huge and demanding so much of the body to cover it all. “you have five scenes and you dance almost until you drop dead.”

The crippling physical effort of becoming a ballet dancer, the slog, the agony of injuries, the rivalries and bitchiness are vividly evoked in Acosta’s fascinating story “No Way Home” which is published by Harper Collins. Despite terrible home-sickness, loneliness and low self-esteem, Acosta won every possible student medal and award. Snapped up by various ballet companies, he travelled to Europe.

Cover of "No Way Home: A Dancer's Journey...

Cover via Amazon

The Book will be available for order via the website at a reduced price of £17.99 (including standard UK first class delivery). They shall have 50 signed copies of the book for those who get their orders in early (first come first served basis). (Please check at Carlos’ site)

If you wish to see Carlos in person, he will be signing copies of his autobiography – No Way Home – at Hatchards Bookshop, 187 Piccadilly, London W1 between 1 and 2pm on Tuesday 9th October, and at the Royal Opera House Shop in Covent Garden, London WC2 between 3.30 and 4.30 on Saturday 13th October.

For those out of London, Carlos will also be appearing at the Cheltenham Literary Festival on Sunday 14th October in conversation with A C Grayling at 4pm and will be signing copies of his Book afterwards. For full details of the Cheltenham Literary Festival go to

On top of many prices he can write Cuba’s National Dance Prize on his palmares, in recognition of his fruitful career, and for being “a genuine example of an artist who loves the revolution” – in the words of the president of the jury which awarded the prize.

When he retires he and his British fiancée plan to move to Cuba, and he may start his own dance company. The choreographic parts he did himself , which I saw, looked borrowed from other contemporary choreographers, but he made nice choices.


Update 2012 September 25

  • Carlos Acosta: I don’t go out thinking, ‘Here I come, the Cuban Sex Missile’ (
    I used to do 40 to 50 shows a year and I’ve had plenty of body traumas and surgeries, but it’s been worth it. Nothing compares to the feeling of being on stage and connecting with an audience.
  • 12,000 pack in to see Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet debut at the O2 (
    Covent Garden it ain’t. The crowd is six times the size and a good half of them of them will be munching hot dogs throughout but the Royal Ballet’s debut run at London’s O2 this weekend is a great success nonetheless.
    Carlos Acosta, who was on superb form (not always the case this late in his 20-year career).
  • Carlos Acosta: those tights are getting harder to wear! (
    Carlos Acosta, who was on superb form (not always the case this late in his 20-year career).
  • Ballet star admits O2 challenges (
    Acosta bellieves the huge London arena is “not ideal”, saying: “You lose the intimacy that Romeo and Juliet needs, you have to rely on cameras.”But the Cuban dancer, who plays Romeo, said it was something The Royal Ballet “needs to do”.
  • A new arena for dance: Will 50,000 people flock to the O2 for Romeo and Juliet? (
  • Darcey Bussell – Olympics closing ceremony and Teaching at RBS (
    It looks like export tools are almost ready. So far they’re only showing up in groups and I’ve tried both tools and both gave me errors. So obviously things aren’t entirely ready for us yet. But I thought I’d post a few screen shots so that you all at least get a sense of what’s coming (without ruining your opportunity to export. I’m a little curious as to whether I’ll be able to export the group I started now that I get error messages every time I hit the export links. We’ll see.)
  • Jude Law: Carlos Acosta Dance Foundation Launch! (
    Jude Law puts his arm around Michael Caine at the official launch of the Carlos Acosta International Dance Foundation held at the Royal Opera House on Wednesday (September 19) in London, England.
  • Plan For Cuban Ballet School A Dance Of Art, Politics (
    A radical proposal to restore one of Cuba’s most important architectural landmarks is rekindling a 50-year-old controversy. At the center is ballet superstar Carlos Acosta, who left the island and went on to a lead role in London’s Royal Ballet. Acosta wants to return to the island and restore an abandoned ballet school with help from one of the world’s most famous architects.
  • Carlos Acosta to Publish His First Novel (
    Cuba’s Carlos Acosta, the principal dancer of the Royal Ballet of London, announced at the Cuba Pavilion in Havana on Friday, that next year he will publish his first novel, titled Pata de puerco (Pork Leg), reported the Prensa Latina news agency.




About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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