Major newspapers highlight the quality of the program and praise the dancers who starred.
Acosta Danza, Cuban company led by world star Carlos Acosta, debuted last weekend at the exceptional Sadler’s Well in London. Major newspapers echoed the performances.
Laura Freeman writes at the Evening Standard: “If El Cruce sobre el Niagara (Croosing over Niagara —Marianela Boan) is made of marble, Belles Lettres (Justin Peck) is made of silk. Eight dancers (…) move with joyful abandonment. (…) Their moves are soft, lyrical, tender…Skirts float like flowers in the wind.”
About Mermaid (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui), the world premiere of the season, it adds: “the play has Marta Ortega —extraordinary— making her first moves on pointe.”
Mark Monahan, critic of one of the most important British newspaper The Telegraph, noted that Carlos Acosta he has assembled 21 of the finest dancers in Cuba, irrespective of their training.”
Monahan adds: “If this ethnically diverse troupe’s generous Debut bill of five pieces is uneven and downright eccentric in places, its sheer variety and experimental vim certainly make quite an impression.”
The Telegraph celebrated El cruce sobre el Niagara (“The work is a tapestry of infinitely slow, piano-wire-tense movements”) and Impoderable (Goyo Montero): “is one of those high-concept, prop-heavy pieces with head-scratchingly baffling programme notes that tend to set alarm-bells ringing. Apparently about the creative process, and unfolding on a starkly lit, stripped-back stage, it ricochets violently between light and dark, with the nine dancers dousing each other in smoke and pointing torches at each other.”
On the other hand, Zoe Anderson stated at the Independent: The 14 dancers bring a sense of unity and individual personality, while the repertory balances Cuban roots and a sense of adventure.”
Afterwards she adds: “Carlos Acosta made a charismatic appearance in Mermaid premiere, a complex duet with Marta Ortega. In a red dress by Hussein Chalayan, Ortega rises on pointe, twisting in and out of balance. The score by Cherkaoui and Woojae Park draws on traditional Korean songs. The duet suggests both a tender partnership and an unbridgeable gap. Ortega ripples through her own weighted moves, or tries to share them with Acosta. He supports her, or watches as she floats out of reach.The connection they achieve is delicate but fragile.”
The review also tackles El cruce sobre el Niagara: “…is a muscular duet for two skimpily clad men. Carlos Luis Blanco inches his way down a growing line of light, reaching Alejandro Silva for a dance of winding balances. The dancers move with impressive focus.”
Her comments on Jorge Crecis’ Twelve refer to: “It starts with a man throwing water bottles, hurling them without looking. The other dancers leap and dive to catch them.”
The influential The Stage, one of the main newspapers dedicated to shows, published a review from Neil Norman:
“One thing is certain: Acosta has assembled some very fine dancers. The opening duet between two near-naked men is an exercise in balance and muscular control as they move in slow motion with iron discipline.
“Smoke machines and hand-held lights propel the action in Goyo Montero’s Imponderable, (…) dancers collide and leap (…) with tireless energy. It is the most political piece in the program and the most effective.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Mermaid is a fine, offbeat duet with Acosta attempting to keep a very drunk girl (Marta Ortega) on her feet to the live musical accompaniment of Woojae Park’s Korean zither-like geomungo. The rubbery steps, the dripping water and the unexpected soundscape elevate the piece beyond its simple idea to exert a lithe fascination and bittersweet charm.”
Nonetheless, the critic noted that the program “lacks a defining aesthetic,” highlighting that Carlos Acosta’s trying “everything, is a promising start.”
The tour will continue until the first half of November in countries like Germany, Austria, Turkey, and Great Britain.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz // CubaSi Translation Staff