Guide Cuban com­pany Acosta Danza of­fer Evo­lu­tion

Chichester Observer - - THE GUIDE - Phil He­witt Group Arts Edi­tor ents@chiob­server.co.uk

Dance

Cuban com­pany Acosta Danza take to the road this spring with dates in­clud­ing Southamp­ton and Brighton. The show is called Evo­lu­tion – be­cause of the vast and happy progress they have made since De­but, their de­but tour.

As Cuba opened up to the world, Car­los Acosta launched Acosta Danza in Ha­vana af­ter re­tir­ing from The Royal Bal­let in

2015. Un­der his artis­tic di­rec­tor­ship, the com­pany pays trib­ute to the vi­brancy of Cuban cul­ture and fea­tures a mix­ture of the finest bal­let and con­tem­po­rary dancers Cuba has to of­fer.

On their new tour, Acosta Danza will per­form a pro­gramme of new and ex­ist­ing works.

Acosta makes a guest ap­pear­ance in Rooster, chore­ographed by Christophe­r Bruce to mu­sic by the Rolling Stones. The com­pany also per­form new work, Paysage, Soudain, La Nuit by Swedish chore­og­ra­pher Pon­tus Lid­berg. In­spired by Vaslav Ni­jin­sky’s L’après midi d’un faune, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui com­pletes the bill with Faun, set to De­bussy’s orig­i­nal score with ad­di­tional mu­sic from Nitin Sawh­ney.

They play The Mayflower in Southamp­ton on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, March 3-4 and Brighton Dome on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, March 17-18.

“De­but was how we started as a com­pany,” re­calls artis­tic di­rec­tor Car­los. “The com­pany was still try­ing to find its way and its feet back then. This is now a much more ma­ture, more es­tab­lished com­pany. I wanted to show how much we had evolved since those bumpy be­gin­nings. When we did De­but, we were only a year old. We started from zero. We didn’t have a build­ing. We didn’t have a reper­toire. But four years later we have a healthy reper­toire. We are com­mis­sion­ing works all the time.” And though dancers come and go, many of the orig­i­nals re­main: “I think ev­ery­thing has evolved. They have grown in con­fi­dence.

For the com­pany, I put down a foun­da­tion, and I have built on that foun­da­tion. I have trained them in clas­si­cal and in con­tem­po­rary. The reper­toire is very stim­u­lat­ing for them. They change from dif­fer­ent styles con­stantly, and that is so im­por­tant. They are chang­ing right across the board all the time and they can do any­thing. It is al­most like a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the Cuban race which is very rich and di­verse. You have got the African and the French and the Chi­nese and the Span­ish, and in many ways it is all a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of that. You see how eclec­tic it is, and the show re­flects that eclec­ti­cism.”

And for Car­los, it is all very sat­is­fy­ing: “Be­ing a leader can be very tricky. You need to con­vey your vi­sion and to con­vince ev­ery­body to em­brace it and to try to pull it all to­gether as a fam­ily. I am some­body like that. For me it is al­ways es­sen­tial that it feels like a fam­ily, that we all trust each other, that we are all well-in­ten­tioned and that we all know what we are do­ing. And I think we have got a re­ally great fam­ily to­gether. You have got to know that what is best for the bee­hive is best for the bee. It is about keep­ing it all to­gether and keep­ing the in­tegrity of the vi­sion.”

Cuban com­pany Acosta Danza

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