Acosta Danza, five years at the top of Cuban dance

Acosta Danza is now part of the select group of the avant-garde of contemporary Cuban dance

One of the most prestigious companies on the Cuban dance scene, Acosta Danza, is celebrating its fifth year of existence with the intent of maintaining the culture of the Caribbean nation as its main reference point, while continuing its efforts to nourish itself with the best of international choreographic arts and show the world the creation of the island. Its founder, Carlos Acosta, has just received the US Dance Magazine Award in New York.

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This is confirmed by a press release from the troupe, led by Cuban dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta, who after his retirement from the great dance stages dreamt of this project to give “artists new challenges in their country, to make them feel fulfilled from the point of view of the repertoire, so that they do not have to go elsewhere to work with dance geniuses but these choreographers come to Cuba to work with them”.

Acosta, winner of the 2011 National Dance Award, Commander of the Order of the British Empire and one of Cuba’s most international dancers, is celebrating the anniversary of his company and the US Dance Magazine Award, recently presented to him by the New York magazine for his prolific career.

The publication itself described him as “one of the best male ballet dancers of his time” and also defines his vision as “radical and current”.

It is precisely this current vision that supports the transcendence of his company which, in its very short life, already left aesthetic traces that differentiate it from the rest, since its line is defined in the integration of the contemporary and the neoclassical, without rejecting other expressions, periods and styles of dance art.

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A Cuban but international company

Acosta Danza belongs to the Centro de la Danza de La Habana; it is supported by the Consejo Nacional de las Artes Escénicas and the Ministry of Culture.

The official birth of the company dates back to September 28, 2015, when a group of dancers, who came from various locations in Cuba, met in a hall of the Fernando Alonso National Ballet School and received their first class, given by the renowned American dancer Rasta Thomas.

Only six months later, the artists presented their stage debut at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso with the Première season, which included two different shows.

The troupe of 19 dancers was able to prove the value of their art in countries such as the United Kingdom, Turkey, China, the United States, Germany and Austria. The United Arab Emirates, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Mexico, Chile, Luxembourg, France and Spain also appreciated the art of the Cubans.

Meanwhile, the repertoire of 29 works – 17 of them are world premieres and seven are unseen in Cuba – has a list of outstanding choreographers from the international scene who put their talent at the service of the company.

Creators such as Spaniards Goyo Montero, María Rovira and Rafael Bonachela, Belgian Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Saburo Teshigawara, Japan’s most important contemporary, and Cubans Marianela Boán, Miguel Altunaga, Raúl Reinoso and Ely Regina Hernández, among others, are on the list of Acosta Danza‘s authors.

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Five round the Sun trips

Due to the global epidemiological emergency, the company celebrated its anniversary on social networks with the campaign: Cinco vueltas al Sol“.

The celebration included a account of all the work carried out which, in these years, places Acosta Danza in the select group of the avant-garde of contemporary Cuban dance.

The troupe has the merit of having performed every season in Cuba to packed houses and having received warm ovations in some of the most famous stages of universal dance.

During these five years, it should also be noted the work of its Artistic Teaching section, where Cuban students and scholarship holders from other countries receive mixed training that prepares them to join the cast of any company in the future.

Dozens of students from all over Cuba attended classes in this academy, and together with them young people from Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Spain complete their training by coming to study with their expenses covered.

The campaign for the first five years of Acosta Danza concludes with “the reaffirmation of its desire to work towards the development of the arts, even in the current circumstances imposed by Covid-19” and a meeting with the public is planned very soon.

The fifth round the Sun trips is a reality that focuses on the future and on the initial dream of its director to “bring the world to Cuba and take Cuba to the world”, as he once confessed to a reporter.