Tuesday, July 5

Acosta Danza – Hull Truck Theatre

If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought the dancers I saw on the Hull New Theatre stage on Friday evening had molten rubber running through their veins, not blood – so supple were they.

Acosta Danza 100% Cuban, the brainchild of international ballet star Carlos Acosta, is a mesmerising concoction of fast & furious and slow & sensuous – with effortless acrobatics thrown in.

The most fantastically hypnotic and unforgettable music assaulted our senses throughout each performance, of which there were five.

Liberto, Hybrid and De Punta a Cabo were all UK premieres, and according to the programme, Impronta and Paysage, Soudain, la nuit were both back by popular demand.

So, five rousing chapters, each telling a different story. However, I have to confess that I couldn’t really figure out what the stories were, until I checked the programme when I got home. But I didn’t need to know, so enchanted was I with the whole spectacle.

Early on in the show, the lighting and music created much of the ambiance, being both dramatic and soothing at times. But later on, a video backdrop brought the coast of Havana, Cuba, to the stage, which added even more to the amazing atmosphere on stage.

First up was Liberto, featuring Zeleidy Crespo and Mario Sergio Elias. What followed was 17 minutes of grace, strength, beauty and drama, sometimes to music that to my untrained ears had a Japanese feel, as well as an African tone.

After the knowledgeable audience gave the two talented dancers well-deserved, lengthy applause, the curtain came down for a good five minutes or more, with no explanation.

No one seemed to mind, though, and we were soon engrossed in Hybrid, featuring 10 dancers whose group performance I absolutely loved. I wanted to get up there myself and join in, but the thought of spending the rest of my life in traction brought me to my senses.

Yasser Dominguez and Laura Rodriguez caught my eye in this segment, but all 10 were magnificent.

After the interval, 11 dancers again brought the stage alive in Paysage, Soudain, la nuit, at times effortlessly throwing each other around as if each were bits of paper.

Then a dramatic opening scene spotlighted the statuesque figure of Zeleidy Crespo who, bedecked in a beautiful blue silky dress, was grace, strength and agility rolled into one during an amazing performance.

Finally, De Punta a Cabo brought all 14 dancers onto the stage in an extravaganza of everything Cuban.

This amazing group of talents, all born in Cuba, received rapturous applause from an audience who had the choice of walking out into the dismal Hull weather, warmed by the glow of enjoyment from witnessing such a joyous event, or staying behind to join in with a 20-minute question and answer session.

If I hadn’t have been going out of town straight from the theatre, I would have happily stayed to ask just one question: “You’re all unbelievably flexible. Do any of you actually have any bones in your bodies?”

Future performances: Tuesday and Wednesday, March 1st and 2nd, at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; Friday and Saturday, March 4th and 5th, at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth.

Reviewer: Jackie Foottit

Reviewed: 25th February 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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