Cuban company Acosta Danza, directed by the distinguished ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, received highly favorable reviews in the United Kingdom, after its debut in London’s Sadler’s Wells Theater.
Several British newspapers praised the chosen program and the quality of the dancers.
Zoë Anderson in the Independent, notes: “The 14 dancers bring a sense of unity and individual personality, while the repertory balances Cuban roots and a sense of adventure.”
Meanwhile, dance critic Mark Monaham in The Telegraph stated that the company’s director had brought together “21 of the finest dancers in Cuba, irrespective of their training.”
He went on to note: “If this ethnically diverse troupe’s generous Debut bill of five pieces is uneven, and downright eccentric in places, its sheer variety and experimental vim certainly make quite an impression.”
According to Laura Freeman in the Evening Standard, in reference to two of the pieces performed, “If Niagara (choreographed by Cuba’s Marianela Boán) is marble, Belles-Lettres (by Justin Peck of the U.S.) is silk.”
During the latter, “Eight dancers in costumes of pink and turquoise move with joyful abandon… Their movements are soft, lyrical, tender... Skirts billow and blow like blossom.”
Meanwhile, The Telegraph described the piece El cruce sobre el Niágara as “a tapestry of infinitely slow, piano-wire-tense movements that place extraordinary demands on the duo’s lower-body strength,” while recognizing that the dancers - Carlos Luis Blanco and Alejandro Silva – provide “a startling showcase.”
Monaham also praises the appearance of the “astonishingly lithe” company director and dancer Carlos Acosta, in the world premiere of Mermaid, by Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, accompanied by former Danza Contemporánea de Cuba principal Marta Ortega.
As Anderson in the Independent expresses regarding this piece: ”In a red dress by Hussein Chalayan, Ortega rises on pointe, twisting in and out of balance… The duet suggests both a tender partnership and an unbridgeable gap. Ortega ripples through her own weighted moves, or tries to share them with Acosta... the connection they achieve is delicate but fragile.”
Likewise, Twelve, by Spain’s Jorge Crecis, and Imponderable, by his compatriot Goyo Montero, also received excellent reviews.
According to critic Neil Norman, in The Stage, the latter is “the most effective” piece of the program, in which “dancers collide and leap into curling lifts and accelerated streetdance moves with tireless energy.”
Although Norman believes that the program “lacks a defining aesthetic,” he praises “Acosta’s willingness to try anything,” defining this debut as “a promising start.”
Acosta Danza’s European tour will continue until early November, through several cities in the UK, Germany, and Austria. (PL)