Carlos Acosta


Choreographer, Don Quixote

Born in 1973, Carlos Acosta was the 11th child of an impoverished family in one of Havana’s poorest districts. With the persuasion of his father, Carlos was sent to train at the National Ballet School of Cuba. From 1989 to 1991, he performed throughout the world, guesting with several leading companies including the Compagnia Teatro Nuovo Di Torino in Italy.

Carlos was invited to dance with English National Ballet during their 1991/92 season, where at the age of 18, he became company’s youngest ever Principal Dancer. Carlos danced with Houston Ballet for five years from 1993 to 1998 and later joined The Royal Ballet, which became his home, where he danced in nearly all the major ballets in their repertoire and choreographed his first full-length ballet, Don Quixote.

Carlos became Principal Guest Artist in 2003 and enjoyed a celebrated career as an International Guest Artist with leading ballet companies around the world. Carlos retired from The Royal Ballet stage in 2015 with his own version of Carmen.

Carlos continues to dance contemporary and formed his own company in Havana, Acosta Danza, to critical acclaim. He directs and performs with the company as it tours the world. He also created Carlos Acosta International Dance Foundation, giving young dancers and choreographers opportunities by providing an education whilst receiving world class training in an inspirational setting.

In January 2020, Carlos became Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet with the task of building on the company’s classical traditions whilst expanding its repertoire and reaching out to new and more diverse audiences.