Birmingham & Black Country

Carlos Acosta named director of Birmingham Royal Ballet

Carlos Acosta Image copyright Samuel de Roman/ Getty Images
Image caption Carlos Acosta will take up the role in January 2020

World-renowned ballet dancer Carlos Acosta has been appointed as the new director of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

The former principal dancer with The Royal Ballet said taking the role was a "tremendous honour and privilege".

It comes after it was announced current director David Bintley would be standing down in July 2019.

The Cuban-born dancer and choreographer will take up his appointment in January 2020 and said he wanted to "reach out to new and more diverse audiences".

Mr Acosta also said his ambition was to expand the repertoire of the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Image copyright Tristan Fewings/ Getty Images
Image caption Mr Acosta has been described as the greatest male dancer of his generation

"I want to define what it is to be a world-leading classical ballet company in the 21st Century, he said.

Sir David Normington, who chairs the Birmingham Royal Ballet, said: "This is a great moment.

"We have secured the greatest male dancer of his generation to be our new director.

"I know he will bring us his legendary artistry, energy and charisma and enable us to connect with new audiences, particularly in Birmingham."

Image copyright WPA Pool/ Getty Images
Image caption The dancer was a principal with The Royal Ballet for 17 years and was appointed a CBE in 2014

Mr Acosta, born in Havana, was the youngest of 11 children and went on to train at the National Ballet School of Cuba before enjoying a celebrated 30-year career in dance, including 17 years with The Royal Ballet. He was appointed a CBE in 2014.

After retiring, he founded Cuban dance company Acosta Danza and established a dance academy in Havana which welcomed its first students in September 2017.

During his career he won, among other accolades, an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award from The Royal Academy of Dance.

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