Spectrum, Acosta Danza review: A rich showcase for Carlos Acosta’s company

Some works stand out more than others in this varied programme

Zoe Anderson
Tuesday 24 January 2023 12:45 GMT
Carlos Acosta’s dance company Acosta Danza show off Cuban dance talent in ‘Spectrum’
Carlos Acosta’s dance company Acosta Danza show off Cuban dance talent in ‘Spectrum’ (ROH/Andrej Uspenski)

When ballet star Carlos Acosta founded Acosta Danza in 2015, he wanted to show off the richness of Cuban dance talent. And Spectrum certainly does that. His dancers have both classical and contemporary training, throwing themselves into a range of styles. Across a varied programme, they show assertive performance and lush physicality.

In Performance, choreographer Micaela Taylor piles up contrasts. The recorded score goes from Andy Stott’s electronic dance music to a snatch of Debussy. A voiceover describes walking as a performance, while the seven dancers switch from one mode to the next. 

They pose like Egyptian wall paintings (feet sideways, torso forwards), or stand in a line with arms fanned out at different angles. Two men rearrange each other, like stop-motion puppeteers. Breaking into whole group dances, they’ll lope in circles, or scrunch together in a huddle. Throughout, the dancers are very in the moment, bright and confident.

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