A sample of Cuban life.
The Cuban dance company Acosta Danza is known for combining modern ballet and Afro-Cuban dance with flamenco, capoeira, and hip-hop.
With Cuban Eclectico, choreographer and founder Carlos Acosta has collaborated with five other choreographers in creating pieces inspired by Cuban culture.
Swedish Pontus Lidberg has choreographed Paysage, Soudain, la nuit, consisting of pure, infectious energy and Latin footwork set to a rumba-inspired score. Satori by the Cuban choreographer Raúl Reinoso merges contemporary dance with classical ballet lines, while Spanish choreographer Maria Rovira's Impronta brings together contemporary expressions and traditional Afro-Cuban folk dance.
The Flemish-Moroccan Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is known for his imaginative productions. In his interpretation of Faun, he gives shape to the confrontation between the human and animal aspects.
Cuban Eclectico ends with De Punta a Cabo by choreographer Alexis Fernández, made for the full ensemble. Against a projection of Havana's dazzlingly beautiful waterfront, the Malecón, this piece shows all the contradictions of contemporary Cuban society, from classical dance to salsa and from pointe shoes to bare feet.
Carlos Acosta's own story may be reminiscent of the film and musical Billy Elliott. He grew up in very modest circumstances in Cuba and was the eleventh child in the family. His father enrolled him in the state dance school, both to keep him out of trouble and because they served free lunch. The dance school discovered an extraordinary talent, and the career Carlos Acosta built resembles a fairy tale. Always combining ballet with modern dance, he was a principal dancer with Britain's prestigious Royal Ballet for 17 years, alongside an extensive international career not only as a guest principal with all of the world's leading ballet companies, but also as a choreographer. His story was made into a film in 2019, and he has appeared in several other films. Today he is artistic director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, in addition to his work with Acosta Danza where he works to give young Cubans a way into the world of dance.
Photo: Toti Ferrer