Yuli at LantarenVenster

Yuli is directed by Iciar Bollain.

“The story of Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta.”

Icíar Bollaín’s film Yuli (2018) tells the story of Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, widely considered one of the greatest dancers of his generations. The director bases this partly on Acosta’s autobiography No Way Home (2008), and uses the creation of Acosta’s ballet Tocororo – created by Acosta Danza – as a framework to tell the story. In doing so, the film focuses primarily on two closely related components: Acosta’s relationship with his father Pedro and his relationship with his native Cuba.

Talented street child
Havana in the 1980s: the rebellious Yuli – as father Acosta named his son after a brave Indian warrior – has always managed to avoid school and, despite his great talent for dancing, is in danger of becoming a boy of the streets. Hoping for a better life, father Pedro sends his talented son to Cuba’s national ballet academy. Against his will and despite great resistance, Yuli is eventually captivated by the world of dance.

It turns out to be the beginning of a legendary career. Yuli grows into one of the great stars of the British Royal Ballet, where, among other things, he is the first dark dancer ever to perform the role of Romeo.

On Tuesday 7 February, Carlos Acosta and Samuel Wuersten, director of the Holland Dance Festival, will be present for an introduction before the performance.

Click here for more information about Yuli at LantarenVenster, Rotterdam.


★★★★ de Volkskrant: “Yuli cuts interesting themes with his blend of fiction and autobiography. Edilson Manuel Olbera Núñez, who plays the young, rebellious Carlos, is a real discovery.”

★★★★ VPRO Cinema: “Sympathetic biopic with ingenious screenplay.”

★★★★ Het Parool: “Touching. A fresh biopic about Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta.”

★★★★ de Telegraaf: “Strong how Carlos encapsulates his own memories in wonderful dance and the film his movement of art with biographical context provides.”