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Acosta Danza Comes to The Lowry, Salford

As ballet superstar Carlos Acosta takes up the reins at Birmingham Royal Ballet, his critically-acclaimed company of young Cuban dancers embarks on a ten-venue nationwide tour. It brings its latest programme, Evolution to The Lowry, Salford on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 March.

Acosta founded Acosta Danza in 2015 to, in his words, "create a company which didn't look like any other company out there", one which showcased Cuban performers and the vibrancy of Cuban culture. Acosta Danza is now widely acclaimed for an exciting repertoire of works by international and home-grown choreographers performed by a truly distinctive company of dancers with both personality and technique.

The Evolution programme includes two works created especially for Acosta Danza and two contemporary dance classics: Paysage, Soudain, la nuit by visionary Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg; Impronta by Barcelona-based Maria Rovira who choreographed the 2019 film Yuli which chronicled Acosta's life and career; Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Faun, inspired by the Ballet Russes' L'apres-midi d'un faune; and Rooster, Christopher Bruce's celebration of the '60s and '70s set to music by the Rolling Stones, in which Acosta makes a guest appearance.

In Paysage, Soudain, la nuit, Lidberg approaches Cuban culture through rumba, a genre of traditional Cuban music with African roots. It takes as its starting point a score by acclaimed Cuban composer Leo Brouwer with additional music by Swedish composer Stefan Levin. Set in an evocative landscape installation Vientos by Cuban artist Elizabet Cerviño, it conjures up a celebratory vision of youth in the magic hours between twilight and dawn.

Former choreographer for the National Ballet of Cuba, Maria Rovira created the solo Impronta specially for company dancer Zeleidy Crespo whose training is rooted in the folkloric dance styles of Cuba. Rovira has a strong connection with Acosta Danza with her choreography being woven throughout Yuli, the film based on Acosta's autobiography, No Way Home: A Cuban Dancer's Story. The film was nominated for five Spanish Goya awards including best new actor for Acosta, best cinematography and best adapted screenplay.

Since its creation in 2009 to celebrate the centenary of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Faun has become a modern classic. Inspired by Nijinsky's L'après midi d'un faune, the duet is suffused with an intense pliant eroticism. Set to Debussy's original score, there are additional musical interventions by composer and producer Nitin Sawhney. Costumes are by fashion designer Hussein Chalayan.

Christopher Bruce is one of the 20th century's leading choreographers. His humorous and energetic Rooster is set to iconic songs recorded by The Rolling Stones: Little Red Rooster; Lady Jane; Not Fade Away; Paint it Black; Ruby Tuesday; Play With Fire; and Sympathy for the Devil. Originally created in 1991, it has been a highlight of the repertoires of both London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Rambert Dance. Here it features a guest appearance from Acosta himself.

Evolution is presented by Dance Consortium, a 20-strong group of member theatres with a commitment to bring the best international contemporary dance to audiences across the UK, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

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