Drawing: Carlos Acosta

Carlos Acosta

Ballet superstar Carlos Acosta is considered to be the greatest male ballet dancer of his generation. Now, aged 42, he is winding down his virtuoso career and performing a series of farewell performances.

One such event was last week’s CARLOS ACOSTA: A CLASSICAL SELECTION at the London Coliseum. It’s a collection of his favourite pieces from his classical repertoire, accompanied by friends from the Royal Ballet, which he joined in 1998.

In his review for the Guardian, Luke Jennings wrote, “He came from Cuba, from a tough background. He was non-white.There was no haughty androgyny, no pseudo-aristocratic posturing. He just walked on stage, taking calm possession of the space, and you sank back in your seat, knowing that everything was going to be fine.”

Last month a retrospective book, ‘Carlos Acosta at the Royal Ballet’ of his 17 years as its Principal Guest Artist was released.  An excellent subject to draw, I have rendered a few sketches of Carlos over the years, but never managed to get them signed. This one includes him holding the Olivier Award, which he won for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2007. I was lucky enough to meet him last Saturday as he was arriving at the Coliseum and he generously signed it for me. A treasured addition to my collection.

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