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

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator - Financial Services

£32000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...

Recruitment Genius: Supply Chain Administrator

£8000 - £10800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Supply Chain Administrator is ...

Recruitment Genius: Client IT Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client IT Account Manager is ...

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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor