HGFF Close-Ups: Carlos Acosta

After watching Eirene Houston’s Day of the Flowers, I noticed that one of the most memorable
performances in it is that of Carlos Acosta, who plays the tour guide and dancer Tomas. I decided to do a bit more research into him. He has starred in only two films; Day of the Flowers and New York, I Love You.

Carlos is famed for his dancing – he is a professional ballet dancer and has worked with companies such as the English National Ballet and the National Ballet of Cuba. He is also considered to be one of the best ballet dancers in the world today! He was born in 1973, the youngest of 11 children in his family. His upbringing was tough in Havana as his family did not have a lot of money. Carlos has famously stated that he first received a birthday cake when he turned 23.

His impoverished childhood seems an unlikely background for a successful ballet dancer, his father decided that dance lessons at school would keep his son out of trouble! He studied at the Cuban National Ballet School and graduated in 1991.

During his dance career, he is often cast as the lead in romantic roles, perhaps why he seemed so suitable for his role in Day of the Flowers! Over his career, he has won 11 awards in countries such as Italy, France, and the USA.

Carlos currently performs with the Royal Ballet and was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the art form in 2014.

To see his acting and his dancing, see Day of the Flowers – screening at the Havana Glasgow Film Festival on Sunday 8 November at 1.30pm. If you feel like you don’t know enough about Cuba to appreciate the festival, this is the film for you! It’s a great introductory film to help you become interested in Cuban cinema and culture, as it shows Cuban culture from a Glaswegian perspective.

You can also read more about Carlos Acosta on his website: http://www.carlosacosta.com/