Behind The Scenes: Carlos Acosta

BBC Radio 4

When Carlos Acosta, the most dazzling ballet dancer of his generation, was appointed Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet in January, nobody could have predicted the roller coaster ride in store for him.

In this programme, we hear how his grand plans to shake up the company, reach out to new audiences, and take ballet out into the city of Birmingham along its canals, into its warehouses and clubs, have largely been put on hold.

But nevertheless, Acosta’s energy has been channelled into commissioning new work and holding the company together.

We hear Carlos Acosta’s own story – from his beginnings as a poor street kid in Havana who was a brilliant break dancer, to the world class classical ballet dancer who spent 17 years as the star of the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.

As we record, the company’s most financially important production, the Christmas performances of The Nutcracker, are being rehearsed. The show is due to be enjoyed by audiences at the Birmingham Rep and then at the Royal Albert Hall in December. But worries about a continued lockdown are overshadowing events…

Produced by Susan Marling  

Broadcast: Thursday 26th November on BBC Radio 4