REVIEW: Carlos Acosta – On Before, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

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Arguably the world’s favourite dancer and in On Before Carlos Acosta presents his most personal work to date. This new show builds on Acosta’s unique dance vision and features Royal Ballet principal dancer Zenaida Yanowsky with new choreography by some of the world’s leading dance makers including Russell Maliphant, Kim Brandstrup, Edwaard Liang and Miguel Altunaga. The show also features a wide ranging score from Handel to new commissions from Cuban composer Omar Puente and culminates in a moving finale featuring the live choral work of Morte Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium performed here by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus.

There are few dancers who can command an audience or who have captured the public’s imagination quite like Carlos Acosta.  The nine short pieces in On Before present so many changes in mood and tone and provoke so much emotional response that it is impossible to be anything other than mesmerised from start to finish. Acosta appears to adhere to the “always leave your audience wanting more” philosophy and as the audience rose to its feet as one amid roars of approval and with curtain call after curtain call, this Edinburgh crowd certainly wanted a whole lot  more. Both Acosta and Yanowsky are artists at the pinnacle of their career and as a showcase for all that’s best in the world of modern dance then you can’t get any better than this.