The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School Presents a Performance by Carlos Acosta

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Carlos Acosta and Laura Rodriguez in a performance of On Before. Photo courtesy of Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

This weekend, a truly one of a kind performance is coming to Sarasota. On April 19 and 20, the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School will present world-renowned ballet dancer and director Carlos Acosta’s performance of On Before. The contemporary ballet, initially constructed by Acosta in 2010 as a tribute to his late mother, will be performed at the Sarasota Opera House. Acosta’s performance of On Before in Sarasota will mark Acosta’s first performance in the United States since 2018 and will be his only stop in the country on his current tour.

Acosta, born in Havana, Cuba in 1973, has a long and storied career in ballet. Currently the director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Acosta studied ballet at the Cuban National Ballet School and rose to prominence in the 1990s, eventually becoming a permanent member of The Royal Ballet in 1998. Acosta retired from classical ballet in 2016 after 28 years as a professional dancer–since then, however, he’s continued to be active in the world of dance, establishing his own company, Acosta Danza in Havana in 2016.

On Before is undoubtedly Acosta’s most personal and intimate work to date. An intimate, two-person ballet–backed by a choir–On Before will see Acosta pair up with Laura Rodriguez from Acosta Danza. “The show is very abstract. It’s very symbolic,” says Acosta. “There is a sharing of the space between a male dancer and a female dancer. Sometimes it can be interpreted as the mother and child or as lovers dancing together–the show gives me an opportunity to dance with my mother so to speak. Every time I dance in this show I feel her presence and it’s a way of always having her live on in my heart.”

April 19-20, 7:30 p.m., Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota.

Pictured: Carlos Acosta and Laura Rodriguez in a performance of On Before. Photo courtesy of Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

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