The love and adulation that surround him now in his mid-forties couldn’t be further from his early life in Havana, where the rebel, street-dancing child Carlos had to be dragged kicking and screaming into Havana’s National Ballet School by his truck-driver father, in the hope the school would instil some much-need discipline into the boy.
The arc from those early days in Havana to glory on international stages is the subject of the Carlos Acosta biopic Yuli, from the Goya Award-winning Spanish director Iciar Bollain. Here Bollain works with her screenwriter husband Paul Laverty – a rather different mode from that of his regular collaborations with Ken Loach (Land and Freedom, Carla’s Song, My Name is Joe).
Acosta’s inspirational story (we defy you not to feel a jolt of emotion even watching that short trailer) is told in Yuli with two actors playing the child and adolescent Carlos – respectively the immensely talented newcomer Edilson Manuel Olbera Núñez and Keyvin Martinez, (currently a member of Acosta’s own company, Acosta Danza) and Carlos himself as the adult dancer.
His father Pedro, whose determination was so instrumental in channelling Carlos’s talent, is played by Santiago Alfonso, himself a celebrated Cuban dancer and choreographer. Carlos’ mentor in the National Ballet School, Chery is played by Laura de La Uz.
In a film with high-end production values, the intense and highly effective score bears the signature of Alberto Iglesias. There is plenty of footage of Acosta himself dancing, not only with his home company, The Royal Ballet, but on many prestigious international stages, as well as alongside his young, Havana-based company Acosta Danza.
Carlos Acosta himself has recounted his life story in his autobiography, No Way Home: A Cuban Dancer’s Story. Now Yuli draws on the book to present an intelligent interpretation of the story, that allows Carlos himself to narrate part of it through movement – the true expression of his immense artistry.
Yuli's UK release on 12 April 2019 will be preceded by a Live Film Event from the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House on Wednesday 3 April at 7pm. All details here
|What||Yuli, Carlos Acosta's Biopic Preview|
12 Apr 19 – 30 Apr 19, Film release 12 April. Film Event at the Linbury 3 April Film Dur.: 109 mins
|Website||Click here for more information|