Carlos Acosta’s name is synonymous with virtuosic and passionate performances. A principal with The Royal Ballet since 1998, Acosta soared onto the world stage in 1990 when he won the gold medal at Prix de Lausanne. With his powerful technique and Cuban charisma, he’s been stunning audiences ever since.
In this short clip from 2000, Acosta performs the role of Franz in The Royal Ballet’s production of Coppélia. Like many male solos in classical ballet, Franz’s variation is a showcase of challenging jumps and turns—which Acosta makes appear deceptively easy, radiating a calm smile during each pirouette and tour en l’air. In addition to his immaculate technical delivery, Acosta doesn’t skimp on transitional steps: his signature flair is present in every preparatory port de bras and mazurka.
The Royal Ballet’s 2015/2016 season will be Acosta’s last. He will choreograph and star in a new production of Carmen this fall, and after completing the season, Acosta plans to focus on contemporary work and writing (he already has two books published, a novel called Pig’s Foot and his remarkable rags-to-riches autobiography No Way Home). Happy #ThrowbackThursday!