Prize for Ballet 2017


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Acosta Danza Debut Programme

United Kingdom
Sadler's Wells Theatre

acosta danza - Sadlers well


Premiering at a time when Cuba is opening up to the world, Acosta Danza will shine a light on the vibrancy and richness of Cuban culture and the next generation of its artists, reaching audiences across Europe and internationally. The diverse repertoire for the production will bring together a multitude of different artists of different nationalities, some well-known and well-established, and others less familiar to ballet and contemporary dance audiences. As such, the programme has the potential to inspire other similar transitional, cross-cultural collaborations in the future – particularly those also working with emerging artists. In addition, company members hail from a range of mixed Cuban, Spanish and African heritages, and are a strong and positive representation of cultural diversity. The latter is much needed in contemporary society, both now and in the future, and is sadly too-often absent from the stage.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is renowned for creating imaginative productions which explore distinctive cultures and genres of movement, collaborating with artists from those genres and adding a contemporary twist. For Debut, he will work with a Cuban percussionist to explore both the distinctive rhythmic language of Cuba and the unique fusion of ballet and contemporary choreographic languages which the company will represent. The work will be a duet for a male dancer (performed by Acosta himself, or another member of his company) and a female dancer en pointe. Goyo Montero will create a new piece for 12 dancers, Imponderable, inspired by the music of pre-eminent Cuban folk musician Silvio Rodriguez, credited as the leader of the 1970s nueva trova movement. Works from Rodriguez’s oeuvre will be rearranged by contemporary Canadian composer Owen Belton. The programme will also include the revival of a recently rediscovered work, considered a classic of Cuban dance history: El cruce sobre El Niágara (1987) by Marianela Boán. To date this work has never been performed outside of Cuba. Boán is recognised as one of the most important artists of Cuban and Latin American avant-garde dance, and the piece interprets Peruvian dramaturg Alonso Alegría’s 1969 work of the same name. Through precisely choreographed, perfectly synchronised movements, two male dancers express how working in harmony can achieve the seemingly impossible.   

The Acosta Danza Debut Programme will primarily differentiate itself through the groundbreaking fusion of ballet, contemporary and Cuban sensibilities presented, as outlined above. In addition, there is great international interest in the work of Carlos Acosta and how he plans to develop his unique talent and skill following his retirement from classical ballet, which will now be directed to his work with emerging Cuban artists. Acosta’s leadership as Artistic Director, combined with Sadler’s Wells’ unique position as an international leader in the production and presentation of dance, has allowed the co-producing partners to secure artists of the very highest stature in the creation of the Debut programme. The combined international artistic reputation of these parties, together with the opportunity to see an exciting group of emerging Cuban dancers, will certainly provide a unique and attractive offer to audiences.   

Artistic Team

Choreographers: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Goyo Montero Morell & Marianela Boán Debut is the inaugural season programme of the newly-launched Cuban company, Acosta Danza, under the Artistic Directorship of international ballet luminary Carlos Acosta and conceived and produced in close collaboration with Sadler’s Wells. The mixed bill programme will include the revival of existing work reflecting Cuba’s cultural heritage as well as new commissions by internationally renowned dance-makers, who will create pieces inspired by this incredible country that combine classical ballet with contemporary techniques in a new and unique manner.


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