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Acosta Danza - 100% Cuban

5
Seen at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
By Robert Iles - 5th Mar 2022

Acosta Danza - photo by Yuris Norido

Acosta Danza was set up by Carlos Acosta on 2015 to support and promote the young dancers emerging in Cuba. Since then it has become a favourite touring company for many and last night I could see why.

The show contained five varied dances from this amazing troupe - each with a story thought through by the choreographer and portrayed by the dancer or dancers but also speaking a private story to each viewer. Sometimes, it is good to read the programme only after seeing the dance and letting the dance itself speak - the story each person derives may not be that intended but is no less valid. Each of these performances carried a strong narrative thread, beautifully conveyed.

Liberto by Paul Reinoso to music by Pepe Gavilondo tells of slavery and love with Afro-Caruban overtones. I found this beautiful, sensual and intimate, so much so that it felt voyeuristic to watch - here is an example where I don't think I fully got the story being told but it created a very powerful story for me none the less. Amazing physicality and connection between the dancers created a visually beautiful dance.

Hybrid by Norge Cedeno and Thais Suarez was a completely different piece, played out in a space sometimes battlefield sometimes game board. The music of Jenny Pena and Randy Araujo was incredible, I could have listened to that all night. The work of the dancers in groups was amazing as they moved in and out of sequence, mesmerising work and the final few seconds of this piece are stunning.

Paysage, Soudain, la nuit by Pontus Lidberg is indeed a celebration of youth, a summer picnic of fun and flirtation, whilst Imprompta by Maria Rovira and danced solo by Zeleidy Crespo was a more traditional, fun, light dance of incredible flair.

The final dance, De Punta a Cabo by Alexis Fernandez and Yaday Ponce was a joyous piece; part traditional ballet, part street dance, part latin and (as they say) 100% Cuban. Extremely clever use of video to expand the dance into the distance and  enliven the whole, a real feast. I loved this piece with the dancers moving in and out of groups with such skill and smoothness. Delightful.

Ending with the best "walkdown" ever, this is a fabulous night out. Bravo ...


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