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Cuban dance superstar Carlos Acosta and his company Acosta Danza's only Scottish dates at Eden Court pack theatre for once-in-a-lifetime occasion


By Margaret Chrystall


REVIEW

Carlos Acosta with Acosta Danza

Eden Court, Inverness

*****

SO, thanks to the 20-minute Q&A with Acosta Danza dancers after Tuesday’s Eden Court show, we know what they dream of – pirouettes and jumps.

Once, they might have dreamed of getting the chance to dance with Carlos Acosta.

But for two male dancers, taking part in the QnA, Raul Reinose and Alejandro Silva, that particular dream is fulfilled being in Acosta’s company. But they had also just danced alongside him in the second part of this show when Carlos joined them for a stunning version of Christopher Bruce’s witty Rolling Stones-powered Rooster.

In the first half, the company had impressed with their athletic interpretation of three pieces in contrasting styles.

Faun was a reinterpretation of Debussy’s L’Apres Midi d’un Faune where a man and woman channelled primeval animal instincts to discover a tumbling, fluid code of movement of their own.

Also focusing on the flexibility of the dancer’s body and the traditions of Afro-Cuban folk dance, Impronta was a piece specially-created for Acosta Danza by Spanish choreographer Maria Rovira, who turned the human body into quirky sculptures.

But perhaps the most satisfying part of the first half was Paysage, Soudain La Nuit, choreographed by Pontus Lidberg, with rumba and Cuban music composed by Leo Brouwer and Stefan Levin powering the energy that fizzed across the stage.

The anticipation for Carlos Acosta, was powerful.

Carlos Acosta (centre) and Acosta Danzain Rooster by Christopher Bruce. Picture: Tristram Kenton
Carlos Acosta (centre) and Acosta Danza  in Rooster by Christopher Bruce. Picture: Tristram Kenton

Though now a company director fostering the artistic ambitions of a new generation of Cuban dancers – also newly-appointed director of Birmingham Royal Ballet – the instinctive performer is still pulsing through Acosta himself,.

He proved an electric presence on stage in Rooster, your eye constantly finding him amongst the chicken-strutting, preening moves, flicking imaginary dust off his lapels, smoothing his hair, amongst his company's young male dancers. All working hard to woo the somehow feistier, hard to impress females.

Christopher Bruce's moves perfectly interpreted the chosen Rolling Stones tracks. And Carlos's exuberance – and yet at the same time – generosity in sharing the stage with his company, smacked of all the artistry and prodigious talent the rest of the world has been enjoying for decades.

The standing ovation was no surprise, even the company bows were beautifully choreographed. As the dancers moved forward as a group for one final bow, each stepped forward elegantly, until it was Carlos's turn – then he surprised us with one last perfect chicken strut to the crowd's delight and deep bow.

Ever the showman.

And with Tuesday and Wednesday being the company's only appearances in Scotland, it was an impressive coup for Eden Court whose reward was a packed theatre – and a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. MC



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