Yuli is the life story of ballet superstar Carlos Acosta, told from three distinct vantage points. As the 11th of 11 children in his low-income family, Yuli (as his father Pedro calls him), demonstrates great physical gifts but rebels against any kind of disciplinary studies, preferring to test his survival skills on Havana’s tough streets. Pedro eventually prevails and enrolls Yuli in the Cuban National Ballet School. Despite his initial hesitation, Yuli is quickly swept up in the world of dance and as a teenager begins to forge his own legend. By the time he was 25, he joined the prestigious Royal Ballet in London, where he became an international star, and the Royal Ballet’s first black artist to dance the part of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. At every turn, Yuli’s explosive personal temperament is inseparable from the passion of his artistry.
Interwoven through the story are incredible set pieces of original choreography from a new show that Acosta is directing to tell his own personal story. The breathtaking dance numbers reinforce Acosta’s otherworldly, magnificent talents and anchor the film in a visceral appreciation of his artistry. As it follows the magnificent dancer on his way through school, his first on stage appearances and as London’s Royal Ballet’s principal dancer for 17 years, Yuli proves to be a vibrant biopic not to be missed.
Germany, Spain, UK / 104 min / Not Rated
In Spanish with English Subtitles
Produced by: Andrea Calderwood, Juan Gordon
Cinematographer: Alex Catalán
Screenwriter: Paul Laverty
Editing: Nacho Ruiz Capillas
Music: Alberto Iglesias