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Carlos Acosta appointed as new director of Birmingham Royal Ballet

Acosta will take up his appointment in January 2020

Carlos Acosta
© Johan Persson

Carlos Acosta will become the new director of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Acosta, who was born in Havana as the youngest of 11 children, trained at the National Ballet School in Cuba and won the Prix de Lausanne at the age of 16. He was a Principal with the Royal Ballet for 17 years and is considered by many to be one of the greatest dancers of all time. For the theatre, he also previously co-choreographed the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Guys and Dolls.

His awards include an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, a Prix Benois de la Danse and an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Critics' Circle National Dance Award. Since retiring he has founded Cuban dance company Acosta Danza.

He will join the Birmingham Royal Ballet in January 2020, and said today: "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 [the company's current director] 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."

The Birmingham Royal Ballet has been based at Birmingham Hippodrome since 1990, and is one of the leading classical ballet touring companies. The company was originally established as Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, the touring sister company of the Royal Ballet, before relocating to Birmingham.