Carlos Acosta’s dance company, Acosta Danza returns to The Lowry on 22 February with 100% Cuban, a mixed bill of five new works. But how much do you know about the ballet superstar, his company and his Cuban roots?
1. Carlos Acosta was born in Havana on 2 June 1973, the eleventh and last child in a family of African and Spanish descent.
2. A fusion of African and Spanish influences is the basis for Cuba’s rich culture of dance, music and art.
3. Cuba has approximately 2,000 libraries, 250 museums and 200 neighbourhood cultural centres.
4. Carlos founded Acosta Danza in 2015 to showcase Cuban culture and put its incredible dance talent on the worldwide stage.
5. All the company’s dancers were born and trained in Cuba.
6. The 2020 tour of the UK was cut short by the pandemic and now the company is returning in 2022 with a new mixed bill.
7. Cuban music is the basis for other genres including salsa, jazz, the rumba and the tango. Lots of the music on the programme has Cuban influences and two of the dancers will be singing live on stage.
8. Other celebrities born in Cuba include singer Gloria Estefan and her husband musician Emilio Estefan, actors Andy Garcia and Ana de Armas, baseball player Jose Canseco and performer Desi Arnaz.
9. In 2017 Carlos opened the Carlos Acosta Dance Academy offering free training to 24 dancers every year.
10. The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba has over 3500 miles of coastline. The final piece in 100% Cuban is set on the Malecon bay in Havana and brings a party on the Cuban seafront to the UK!