February 16, 2011

Ballet, Press Releases

Carlos Acosta on Swan Lake

Carlos Acosta as Prince Seigfried in Swan Lake. Photo by Angela Taylor


Carlos Acosta, Cuban born ballet star and Principal Guest Artist of the Royal Ballet in London, England, has been signed to appear in the lead role of Prince Siegfried for two performances when Ballet San Jose presents Swan Lake, February 25-27 at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.  Acosta will dance opposite Alexsandra Meijer (as Odette/Odile) in the opening night performance on Friday, February 25 at 8pm and will repeat on Saturday night, February 26 at 8:00pm. The Saturday and Sunday matinee performances will be performed by two other casts.  (See schedule below.)

Acosta was born in Havana, Cuba on June 2, 1973, the eleventh and last child in an impoverished family whose home was in one of the rougher quarters of the city.  Acosta, born of a Spanish mother and African father, grew up with no toys, sometimes went shoeless and did not even have a birthday cake until he turned 23.  He was an “overly energetic child” and his father felt that his youngest son would land in serious trouble.  He was sent to dance training at one of the state-funded schools “to teach the boy discipline and provide him with a free lunch everyday.”

Acosta studied at the Cuban National Ballet School with many influential teachers including Ramona de Sáa. In 1991 he received his diploma and was awarded a gold medal.  He came into prominence in the early 1990s while still in his teens, and esteemed dance companies in North America and Europe began offering him lead romantic roles over the next decade.  In 1992 and ‘93 he was a member of the National Ballet of Cuba under the artistic direction of Alicia Alonso, rising to principal dancer in 1994 appearing in various lead roles including Albrecht in Giselle, Basilio in Don Quixote and Siegfried in Swan Lake. Acosta joined England’s Royal Ballet in 1998. With his fabled grace and athleticism, he has earned comparisons to Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev.

Swan Lake tutu

Alexsandra Meijer as Odette. Photo by Robert Shomler

He has won numerous dance awards including the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne (1990), the Grand Prix at Concours International de Danse de Paris (1990), a Dance Fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation, United States (1995) and was nominated for an Olivier Award (2004). He has appeared on 60 Minutes for CBS News, BBC broadcasts of live performances from The Royal Opera House and was featured in the Imagine series on BBC1. In 2004 he appeared in Dance Cuba: Dreams of Flight, a film by Cynthia Newport featuring former members of the National Ballet of Cuba.  He also appeared as a main character in the Natalie Portman directed segment of the 2009 film, New York, I Love You.

SWAN LAKE   February 25-27, 2011

LOCATION: San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Boulevard (corner of Park Avenue) in downtown San Jose

PRICES: $30-$100 (discounts for students, seniors, groups)

BOX OFFICE: 408.288.2800
40 North First Street in downtown San Jose
Buy online at

GROUP SALES: 408.288.2820 x 219

Choreography and Scenario: Dennis Nahat
(based on the original Ballet of 1895 by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov)
Music: Swan Lake
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchiakovsky
Scenery and Costumes: David Guthrie
Performed with Symphony Silicon Valley

 Dennis Nahat’s version of one of the greatest romantic ballets ever written features over 135 costumes and beautiful scenery from David Guthrie.   Danced to a live performance by Symphony Silicon Valley, the romantic tale follows Prince Siegried as he rescues his beloved Princess Odette from the wicked Baron Von Rothbart who has cast a spell on the young beauty and turned her into his Swan Queen.  Nahat’s prologue highlights the villainous nature of Von Rothbart by delving into the source of his evil.

Friday, February 25 at 8:00pm  (With Carlos Acosta and Alexsandra Meijer)

Saturday, February 26 at 1:30pm (Discount Priced Saturday matinee with Maria Jacobs and Ramon Moreno)  $16 – $60
Saturday, February 26 at  8:00pm (With Carlos Acosta and Alexsandra Meijer)

Sunday, February 27 at 1:30pm (With Karen Gabay and Maykel Solas)


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  1. Cloudia Says:

    so lovely!

    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral


  2. Ballet News Says:

    @Cloudia – thank you !

  3. Lee Says:

    I just watched Acosta and Meijer do the White Swan pas from Act II…glorious. And they are not even dancing it full out right now. We are still in working rehearsals; not even full run throughs.
    Lee Kopp, Marketing Director
    Ballet San Jose


  1. Tweets that mention Carlos Acosta to dance Swan Lake | Ballet NEWS |Straight from the stage - bringing you ballet insights -- - February 16, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Seenfromafar, BALLET NEWS. BALLET NEWS said: BALLET SAN JOSE ANNOUNCES CARLOS ACOSTA TO GUEST IN SWAN LAKE – #ballet #carlosacosta […]