Review: Acosta Danza - Evolution at Sadler’s Wells

PUBLISHED: 11:58 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:58 25 November 2019

Acosta Danza: Evolution at Sadler's Wells. Picture: Enrique Smith Soto.

Acosta Danza: Evolution at Sadler's Wells. Picture: Enrique Smith Soto.

(Kike) Enrique Smith Soto

Carlos Acosta, 46, has retired from classical ballet but the former Royal Ballet star retains his devoted fans who want to glimpse (in Rooster) their hero before he takes over as director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in January 2020.

Acosta Danza: Evolution at Sadler's Wells. Picture: Johan Persson.Acosta Danza: Evolution at Sadler's Wells. Picture: Johan Persson.

The street kid from Havana founded Acosta Danza with the aim of raising the profile of Cuban talent around the world. In four short years the dream has become a troupe of 20 fabulous dancers with their own particular talents which melds all styles of dance from classical to hip-hop.

Their extensive and eclectic repertoire is perfectly demonstrated by Evolution's programme of four pieces. It opens with Satori, the first major work choreographed by company member Raul Reinoso. Very powerful visually, with swathes of billowing purple silk which hangs behind and drapes over the dancers, most outstanding of whom is the Amazonian, shaven-headed, Zeleidy Crespo.

Paysage, Soudain, la nuit is by Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg and focuses on Cuban culture through rumba, a genre of traditional Cuban music with African roots.The exuberant romp among the hayfields is hugely enjoyable.

The third piece, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Faun is already familiar to Sadlers Wells audiences. Inspired by Nijinky's 1912 ballet L'apres midi d'un faune and set to Debussy's original score, Faun has additional music by Nitin Sawhney and features Carlos Luis Bianco and Zeleidy Crespo in some stunningly sensual dancing.

Finally, Rooster, set to the songs recorded by the Rolling Stones (Little Red Rooster, Paint it Black, Ruby Tuesday et al) is a celebration of the music and of the times. Finally we see Acosta on the stage: there he is preening, swaggering and jumping, every inch Mick Jagger.

Rating: 4/5.

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