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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:24 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Telegraph.

Quote:
Beg, blag or bribe a ticket, but move very fast. Even those who have never come near classical ballet, and to whom the name Carlos Acosta means nothing, will be excited and moved by Tocororo.

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And from The Times.

Quote:
FEW dancers would dream of making a show about their lives, and fewer still could get away with it. But the Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta has taken the fact of his remarkable life and turned it into a work of dance fiction that will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been homesick.
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And The Independent.

Quote:
What a surprise - all those bouquets being thrown during the tumultuous applause for Carlos Acosta's thrilling dance show Tocororo. That doesn't surprise you? But wait until I add that it was the performers tossing the flowers into the audience: an indication of the warmth and generosity that fill the whole evening.

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And finally The Guardian.

Quote:
The world knows Carlos Acosta as one of the most gifted dancers of his generation, not as a choreographer or director. But his debut show Tocororo is powered with so much energy and style that Acosta may well have an alternative career in front of him.
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<small>[ 17 July 2003, 03:34 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 3:11 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I'm delighted for Carlos Acosta that the London critics have greeted "Tocororo" so warmly. I enjoyed Acosta's virtuosity and the ensemble dancing by Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. However, after initial interest in the choreography, it became repetitive for me and I wish we had seen a wider range of Cuban popular dance styles.

I found the plot over-simplistic, even for a musical show and the central idea of ballet as a metaphore for the simple life-style of a country boy didn't work at all for me. These shortcomings robbed the show of any emotional resonance. Even the live band didn't do it for me and usually I love music from Cuba.

I'm clearly in a minority and I'm pleased that the audience, for this already sold out two-week run, enjoyed it so much. Am I turning into a curmudgeon?

What did others think of "Tocororo"?

<small>[ 17 July 2003, 08:32 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 11:24 am 
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Location: London
Stuart, your views are shared by Clement Crisp so you are not alone, if you like his company?!
My friends and I enjoyed Carlos' show tremendously, its full of life and humour, and you cant help but watch his dancing open-mouthed in amazement as he turns eight or more pirouettes on demi-pointe, and leaps four feet in the air when he jumps. There is some unnecessary labouring of the classical/modern
rivalry, and an interval would have been appreciated. But it is his FIRST attempt at choreographing and directing a show, and starring in it too, he had his work cut out, and has made a vibrant and entertaining show. I've seen him dance some of the classics, and he is superb, but watching him get down to the Afro-Cuban dance beat was awesome!


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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:54 pm 
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It's great that you and your friends enjoyed it RAK and thanks for putting a different view. The world would be a boring place if we all thought the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 11:26 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Havana ball
Cuban Carlos Acosta’s exuberant work aims high — and it almost delivers, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times


Tocororo — A Cuban Tale, at Sadler’s Wells, stars one of the most brilliant male ballet dancers in the world today, Carlos Acosta. It is a show of his own devising, his first venture into choreography, and the story it tells is inspired by his own life. Acosta’s rags-to-riches history is extraordinary: the youngest in a large, poor, black Cuban family, mad on football and break dancing, sent by his truck-driver father to ballet school to keep him out of trouble. He hated ballet to begin with, then got hooked, was determined to become the best, and did.

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*************************************

Join the Chevy chase
Carlos Acosta's fable of poor boy making good in Havana mirrors his own rise to international acclaim. By Jann Parry
in The Observer


Carlos Acosta's sultry summer show is packing them in at the Wells for its two-week run. At the end of the 80-minute performance, the vintage cream-and-red Chevrolet Belair outside the theatre's front door is surrounded by happy punters drinking rum punch, handed out for free during these hot nights.

Tocororo - A Cuban Tale is authentically Cuban, if not quite fresh from Havana. After its February premiere at the Gran Teatro de la Habana, attended by Fidel Castro, the show was put on ice until the London season. Acosta has, meanwhile, been performing with the Royal Ballet, where he (like Sylvie Guillem) is now a regular guest principal dancer.

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<small>[ 20 July 2003, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:09 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Independent.

Quote:
After cigars and rum, the most prized export of Havana, Cuba, is ballet - a fact less surprising when you consider the free ballet training communist Cuba provides, plus Cubans' natural propensity for breaking into a sidewalk shimmy wherever there's a melody and a beat. Of the country's recent ballet exportees, Carlos Acosta is king, though until a fortnight ago his fame in Britain was confined to Covent Garden audiences. But since BBC1's hour-long documentary he's entered that strange, open-gate territory where everyone knows everything about him. He was the eleventh of 11 children of a truck driver in a slum suburb. He was the prodigy who was expelled from ballet school twice. He was the boy who was arrested for stealing but ended up stealing the show. You couldn't make it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 10:46 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
One we missed from last week:

Tocoro
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


It's a simple tale, simply told,and simply not very interesting. Carlos Acosta - magnificent artist, admired wherever he performs - has turned to his Cuban childhood to confect an entertainment which traces a country boy's success in making a career as a dancer in The Big City. (Faintly, in the background, I hear W. C. Field's nasal tones in The Fatal Glass of Beer: "The city's no place for women, but pretty men go there!").

The formula is predictable: the youth's fascination with popular music (played very loud on stage by a five-piece band); his disillusion when his own classic style is mocked; rivalry with the dandy-ish cock of the local walk - a Cuban heel, if ever I saw one; meeting with a lovely girl who encourages him; grief at the death of a parent; a busy-bodying Voodoo priestess with a neat line in home-spun philosophy; faith in academic dance restored (cue pirouettes of amazing variety), triumph over his rival, and love reciprocated; finale, with the cast sizzling over the stage.

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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 12:26 am 
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As a rags to riches story, or as a sythesis of classical and cuban dance, or as a vehicle for Mr. Acosta breaking in to choreography this piece was very good, but I think that this ballet was much more than that - this ballet posed a big question - how does one love, or more specifically how does one love again after overwhelming loss, and the dancing here was just a vehicle to answering that question, which he solved by letting go of the past, really coming to terms with oneself, and then, and only then, reaching out for that love that is just in front of him.
For me, this was one of those rare ballets where tears streamed down my eyes . It really wasn't about dance, it was about loneliness, and loss, and love.


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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 3:11 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Tocororo – A Cuban Tale
By Lucy Wallis for The Stage

He was the first black principal dancer at the Royal Ballet and is now making another first by branching out into choreography with his first full-length work. Carlos Acosta has certainly come a long way from the small boy growing up in the Cuban backstreets who was coerced into ballet school by his father to keep him out of trouble.

Acosta has put his heart and soul into his choreography and there is something very honest, innocent and almost childlike about this work....

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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 6:05 am 
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I should qualify what i said above. I found the dancing good, though as stuart mentioned, perhaps a little repetetive, and the music did have pretty good energy - but not enough for me to sell the house and move to Cuba, and the choreogrpahy for a first start was pretty solid - but where I think the real power of the ballet lays is the love triangle between Tocororo ( Acosta ), Claritia ( Corveas ), and the dead father, and how this was resolved. You could just feel Claritia fight for Tocororo throughout the piece, and it was her initial rejection that i found so sad.


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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2003 4:54 am 
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An interesting background piece to "Tocororo". Just for the record, the image is not of Carlos, as credited, but Alexander Verona.

A tale of triumph
As the driving force behind the hugely succcessful international transfer of Carlos Acosta's Tocororo, promoter Andy Wood sees a bright future for Latin arts in Britain, writes Nick Awde for The Stage

This summer's dance sizzler had to be Tocororo - A Cuban Tale, starring Cuban expat Carlos Acosta, who also choreographed the show in between duties as guest principal at the Royal Ballet and a packed international diary. But Acosta wanted his celebration of Afro-Cuban culture to feature homegrown Cuban performers, to premiere it in his homeland yet treat it as an international production. His talent aside, the key to the successful transition from that first vision was his partnership with Latin arts promoter Andy Wood.

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 Post subject: Re: Carlos Acosta - "Tocororo - A Cuban Tale"
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:46 am 
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<img src="http://pointemagazine.com/images/covers/nov03jpg.jpg" alt="" />

A Cuban Tale
By Donald Hutera for Pointe Magazine

Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta’s transformation from impoverished delinquent to ballet superstar is a remarkable story. Little wonder then that this juicy, personal background helped inspire his ambitious debut as a choreographer and director.

Acosta’s Tocororo premièred in Havana last February, where it garnered President Fidel Castro’s seal of approval. Its two-week London run at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in July quickly sold out thanks to splashy press coverage and a widely seen BBC television portrait of Acosta.

The show is a simple fable about a country lad named Tocororo, who finds love and social success in the big, bad city without abandoning values stemming from his humble roots. Acosta dances the lead, while his 13-year-old nephew, Yonah, plays the younger Tocororo.

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