Born in Havana in 1973, Carlos Yunior Acosta Quesada CBE is an internationally renowned Cuban ballet dancer who trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba with many of its most influential teachers, and has performed throughout the world with many of the greatest companies including the Paris Opera, the Bolshoi, English National Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, American Ballet Theatre and more. Coming to prominence in the early 1990s while still in his teens, Carlos Acosta (as he’s professionally known) won about a dozen awards throughout his career, becoming a permanent member of The Royal Ballet between 1998 and 2015, where he would eventually bid his farewell after 17 years, dancing his last performance in November 2015 in a production of “Carmen.”
Now a choreographer, Acosta, who is of mixed African and Spanish heritage, has also written an autobiography titled “No Way Home” which became a bestseller in the UK, and went on to be published in several other countries including the USA, Australia and Germany. And now BBC Films has announced that it is adapting “No Way Home” for the screen with Paul Laverty attached to script the film, Spanish filmmaker Iciar Bollain to direct, and Germany’s The Match Factory on board to represent worldwide sales on the project at the ongoing Cannes Film Market which kicked off on May 17.
The film is currently in pre-production under the title “Yuli” and will star Acosta as the older version of himself, along with two younger Cuban actors playing him during his childhood and young adult years. Principal photography is expected to happen during the latter half of 2017 for a 2018 premiere.
“No Way Home” was published in 2007 by HarperCollins UK and Scribner US. In it, the dancer tells the story of his rise from poverty in Havana, to becoming the leading male ballet dancer in the World. He would also become the first black principal guest dancer at the Royal Ballet in London.
The film adaptation will also include dance pieces from key moments in Acosta’s life, which will be performed by his Havana-based dance company.