Carlos Acosta Takes on a New Role: Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet
Courtesy Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Royal Ballet announced today that international star Carlos Acosta will be taking over as director in January of 2020. Current BRB director David Bintley will be stepping down this summer, at the end of the company's 2019 season, after a 24-year tenure. "It is a tremendous honor and privilege to have been appointed to lead Birmingham Royal Ballet," Acosta said in a statement.
Since retiring from The Royal Ballet in 2015, Acosta has focused much of his attention on his native Cuba, where he's proven his directorial abilities at the helm of Acosta Danza, the contemporary company that he founded in 2016. In 2017 Acosta also opened his first Dance Academy through his foundation, which provides free training to students. We don't yet know how Acosta will balance his time between his projects in Cuba and his new role at BRB.
Acosta was also recently featured in Yuli, a biopic inspired by his life, which has been making the rounds at international festivals and premieres in London this spring.
'Yuli' - first trailer for Icíar Bollaín's San Sebastian Competition title
Originally called Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, BRB was established as the touring sister company of the Royal Ballet. In 1990 the company relocated to Birmingham and changed its name, though it has maintained its emphasis on touring. "My ambition is to build on its classical traditions, to expand its repertoire and to reach out to new and more diverse audiences," said Acosta in a statement. "I want to define what it is to be a world leading classical ballet company in the 21st century."
Devon Teuscher performing the titular role in Jane Eyre. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT
Story ballets that debut during American Ballet Theatre's spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House are always the subject of much curiosity—and, sometimes, much debate. Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre was no different. The ballet follows the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Brönte's novel as she grows from a willful orphan to a self-possessed governess, charting her romance with the haughty Mr. Rochester and the social forces that threaten to tear them apart.
While the ballet was warmly received in the UK when Northern Ballet premiered it in 2016, its reception from New York City–based critics has been far less welcoming. A group of editors from Dance Magazine and two of our sister publications, Dance Spirit and Pointe, sat down to discuss our own reactions.