The Classical Farewell; Michael Clark Comp review – dance’s elder statesmen bow out

Royal Albert Hall; Barbican, London
Carlos Acosta bids a glorious goodbye, while Michael Clark keeps ploughing his weird and wonderful furrow

Last week Carlos Acosta, the greatest male classical dancer of his generation, took his final call on the ballet stage. “Thank you, Carlos!” someone shouted as Acosta stepped forward on Monday night, moved to tears by the standing ovation.

Thank you indeed. Few have done more in recent years to popularise ballet, or to inspire young men to dance, than Acosta. Born into poverty in Havana 43 years ago, he was dispatched to the state-funded Cuban National Ballet School by a father who despaired of his waywardness. His talent was prodigious. Clean, confident leaps, dashing footwork, perfectly weighted turns. But it was the breadth of his dramatic skills that set him apart. A natural stage aristocrat, he took breezy command of any space he entered. Performing Spartacus with the Bolshoi, he awed audiences with the scale and authority of his dancing. This was a leader, a man you’d follow to hell and back. He had a glorious gift for comedy too. To watch Acosta perform Don Quixote or La Fille Mal Gardée, ideally opposite Marianela Nuñez, was to be in ballet heaven. He had his off days, but when he was on, he was unbeatable.

So lustrous was Carlos Acosta’s bearing, it could have been his first performance in the role of Apollo

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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