A new illustrated dance book, Acosta Danza: Fusion, has just been released in the UK and soon will be available in the US and elsewhere.
As a troubled teenager, Carlos Acosta was whisked off the streets of his native Havana and enrolled in the Cuban national ballet, subsequently becoming one of the most influential figures in dance today. During his career, Acosta has striven to shine an international light on his homeland’s rich cultural traditions, while also exposing Cuba to choreographic innovations happening around the globe. With this aim, Acosta established Acosta Danza in 2015.
Acosta Danza stands for diversity, embracing all art forms, a symbol of unity, a new era where all these forms of dance can easily exist.
This premium-quality, richly illustrated book observes the Acosta Danza company onstage with more than one hundred photos, many published for the first time, but also contains reflections on dance, an interview with Acosta by the book’s editor, biographies and quotes by the company dancers, and looks at the company’s achievements so far.
The book will obviously mean much to those who have seen the company on stage, but it also serves as an introduction to the work of Acosta Danza and even though the performances have been captured by several different photographers, the overall mood is dark and sexy.
The book’s editor and author, Petra Giloy-Hirtz – who has written other titles for the independent publisher of arts books, Prestel – talked to Acosta after a show at Teatro Real in Madrid:
We are so rich in terms of culture – says Acosta – We have the African, the Spanish, the French, the Chinese. It is a melting pot, and we tap into that. We are also very happy- it’s sunny! Everybody likes to have a dose of sunshine. People say, ‘Oh, Acosta Danza, the Caribbean. Wow, it’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna make me feel good this evening’. That is also very important. That is what we win and what is special about a Cuban company. Sometimes you say, ‘Cuba’. But what is Cuba? It’s an island in the Caribbean, it’s sunny; that always comes to mind. We can hit all the notes, but it always has to have the sun, the music, the happiness.
Marianela Boån, one of Acosta’s choreographers, sums up the company’s outlook and composition:
Acosta Danza is a company that erases labels and stylistic and cultural boundaries. The astonishing coexistence of seemingly irreconcilable factors, which is at the core of cubania, is also the essence of the company and the philosophy of its director. The young, the old, the Cuban, the foreign, the classic, the contemporary, the popular and the folk advance together in this spectacular concept, in the body of the dancers and in the public of Cuba and the world that has known how to admire and respect its spirit.
Hardcover, 224 pages, 25,0 x 30,0 cm, 105 colour illustrations, 54 b/w illustrations
US June 07, 2022
UK April 21, 2022
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.