Chichester Observer

Guide Cuban company Acosta Danza offer Evolution

- 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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