World-renowned ballet dancer Carlos Acosta has been appointed as the new director of Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Acosta will take up his appointment in January 2020.
It follows the news that David Bintley, the current director, will be standing in July 2019 at the end of the current season.
Acosta will work alongside the company’s chief executive Caroline Miller, who was appointed on a permanent basis just before Christmas.
Acosta said: “It is a tremendous honour and privilege to have been appointed to lead Birmingham Royal Ballet. I am a great admirer of its heritage and of what David Bintley has done to establish it as one of the country’s leading classical ballet companies, following on from the wonderful foundations laid down by Sir Peter Wright. My ambition is to build on its classical traditions, to expand its repertoire and to reach out to new and more diverse audiences. I want to define what it is to be a world leading classical ballet company in the 21st century.”
Born in Havana, the youngest of eleven children in an impoverished family, Acosta went on to train at the National Ballet School of Cuba, winning the prestigious Prix de Lausanne at the age of 16, before enjoying a celebrated 30 year career in dance with many of the world’s leading ballet companies.
He was a principal with the Royal Ballet for 17 years and danced all the major classical, and many contemporary roles.
Since retiring from the Royal Ballet he founded his Cuban dance company Acosta Danza and established his own dance academy in Havana which opened its doors to its first students in September 2017.
His awards include an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, a Prix Benois de la Danse, an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award from The Royal Academy of Dance in recognition of his standing as one of the most influential figures in dance today.