Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Female Support Workers / Carers - From £8.00 per hour

£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...

Page 3 Profile: Carlos Acosta, ballet dancer

No pain, no gain.

Famed for his grace and athleticism, Carlos Acosta is one of the greatest ballet dancers in history – right up there with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev. The Cuban sensation has always been an advocate for hard work but, on the eve of his retirement, the 40-year-old has expressed concerns that the next generation of ballet stars lacks commitment and passion.

Why does he think that?

Acosta told the Radio Times: “With phones, computer games and DVDs kids are always distracted, always entertained. If you have so many other things to help you make it through life, why try hard to achieve anything? In the new generation the passion and the commitment has diminished. Everything has to be easy. And ballet is very, very hard.”

How hard is very, very hard?

Ballet dancers don’t have days off – no really, they don’t. Acosta has admitted that he pushes and punishes his body beyond all physical limits.

Where did he get his work ethic?

Born in Havana to a desperately poor family, the troublesome and truanting Acosta, the youngest of 11 children, was sent to Cuba’s National Ballet School by his father to teach him discipline. Reluctant at first, his natural talent shone through and ballet became a ticket out of his humble beginnings. Acosta became a principal dancer at the age of 16 and has since performed with companies including Paris Opera, the Bolshoi, the American Ballet Theatre and the English National Ballet.

So how does he intend to bow out?

Acosta is currently the Principal Guest Artist at the Royal Ballet and has just finished playing Romeo alongside Natalia Osipova’s Juliet. He plans to do one more season before hanging up his classical dancing shoes, but there are still many more strings to his bow. Acosta has already published an acclaimed autobiography, “No Way Home”, and a novel called “Pig’s Foot”, as well as squeezing in some acting.

He’s unstoppable.

“I feel like a lion unleashed from his cage. Roar!” says Acosta. Watch out. 

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines