CARLOS Acosta is reputed to be the world’s greatest dancer, so how does he and his company now approach what to many is an art form of twirling ballet, tutu-wearing girls and men in tight leggings?

Paysage, Soudain, la nuit, was beautifully choreographed by Pontus Lindberg, and the flexibility and synchronisation of the dancers both with the music and one another, was mesmerising. Flowing effortlessly onto and off the stage, the dancers made every movement count, from the sublet shoulder shrug to the height defying leaps. Diverse partnerships, soloists and groups grew and faded, while the costumes and grassy background, simple lighting and neutral costumes emphasised the movement. I felt it ‘feed my soul!’

In contrast, Impronta felt dark and unnerving, the almost impossible twists and bends by talented Zeleidy Crespo led me to question how many people were on stage initially! The lighting changed and Crespo’s costume took on a life of its own, floating across the stage and changing design. Strong, fluid movements match Crespo’s striking appearance, as she filled the stage with energy.


And so began Faun. Billed as primeval and modern, and almost animalistic, the Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s 2009 two-hander was not my favourite, with the barely dressed dancers sliding across the stage, holding one another and lying intertwined.

The final post-interval dance was Rooster, choreographed by Christopher Bruce. The unmistakable sound of The Rolling Stones filled the theatre and the battle of the sexes began. The costumes were vibrant and the dancers’ movements were exaggerated and animated. The speed at which they danced, falling, catching and moving together was at time breathtaking, and as former Royal Ballet principal Carlos Acosta strutted between the other ‘roosters’ it was a comical moment. Themes of friendships and fitting in were explored in a true pecking order mirroring real life issues.

Soothing, energetic and at times thought provoking, Acosta Danza Evolution demonstrated that ballet is far more than twirling and was a pleasure to watch.

By Ceri Gibbon