By Amelia Field
Coming all the way from Cuba, International ballet star Carlos Acosta brings his superbly talented company to the Wales Millennium Centre.
To give background to the company, Danza started up Acosta Danza in his home Havana where dancers are scouted and enter the company at the age of 12 to undergo eight years of training before they are ready at the age of 18 to perform with the company.
It is easy to observe how Danza has incorporated styles from ballet and contemporary but also added Latino twists with steps from the Rumba
Acosta presents us with a range of new and existing works in a range of styles.
Within the first act, we are presented with a classical piece which can be interpreted as a piece In which dancers are finding their feet. With simple costumes, sets and lighting the focus is upon the movement of the dancers in unison despite all adding their own flair to their performance. It highlights youth, love and playfulness which is mirrored later on in act two.
As the act continues we are presented with more experimental play with colour and light highlighting the dexterity of the dancers’ bodies.
The second piece ‘Faun’ mirrors an Adam and eve narrative where two dancers slowly merge into one another through contortions testing the limits of the human body. This animal-like performance is truly fascinating.
The last piece was choreographer by Christopher Bruce in 2009 and is a tribute to the music of the 50s and 60s using songs by the rolling stones. This act has a West Side Story feel to it with impressive leaps and colourful outfits. The highlight of the act is ‘Rooster’ where the male dancers imitate moves of a rooster bobbing their heads. This second act is a real change from the first and truly does feel like an evolution changing from traditional ballet to contemporary and comedic performances.
Despite not having a dance background this piece really excited and moved me keeping me constantly engaged and fascinated with the dancers’ technique. It is clear that this performance has had a lot of effort and love put into it and the outcome is extraordinary and something I would never expect to see on an evening in Cardiff.