Carlos Acosta CBE presented Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award for Dance by Dame Darcey Bussell

Royal Academy of Dance QEII Award, Carlos Acosta. Photo by Piers Allardyce

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) announced that Carlos Acosta CBE is to be awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, in recognition of his standing as one of the most influential figures in dance today.

Listen to our podcast interview with Carlos Acosta

Throughout his extraordinary career as a renowned dancer, and now choreographer and artistic director, Carlos Acosta has been a source of inspiration to dancers around the world.

Through the work of the Carlos Acosta International Dance Foundation, he helps young people to have access to dance- an ambition which is also at the heart of the RAD’s mission. The QEII Coronation Award, the Academy’s most prestigious accolade, was instituted in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The first recipient in 1954 was Dame Ninette de Valois. Since then it has been awarded to many of the greatest names in dance, in recognition of outstanding services to the art form. Former recipients include Dame Marie Rambert DBE, Sir Frederick Ashton and Rudolf Nureyev. It was most recently awarded to Sir Matthew Bourne in 2016.

On being selected to receive the award, Carlos Acosta said: “I am delighted to receive the Royal Academy of Dance’s QEII Coronation Award. It is an honour to join this prestigious list of dance leaders, many of whom I have drawn inspiration from and had the opportunity to work with during my career.”

Royal Academy of Dance QEII Award. Photo by Piers Allardyce
Royal Academy of Dance QEII Award. Photo by Piers Allardyce

Darcey Bussell, President of the RAD said: “It was wonderful to have worked and danced with Carlos at The Royal Ballet. I have seen first-hand how his presence, charisma and skill have inspired a generation of dancers around the world. I am thrilled that he is receiving the Royal Academy of Dance’s QEII Coronation Award.”

Read our interview with Carlos Acosta

Luke Rittner Chief Executive of the RAD said: “Carlos Acosta’s career – both as a dancer and now as choreographer and artistic director – really does speak for itself. As a recipient of the QEII Coronation Award, Carlos Acosta will take his place in a glittering roll call of outstanding performers, directors, choreographers and teachers.

The Royal Academy of Dance and Carlos Acosta share a common goal: to inspire and nurture young dancers around the world, and to make dance as accessible as possible. The decision to honour Carlos Acosta with our most prestigious award was unanimous.”

Read our feature on Carlos Acosta’s 30 year dance career in the latest edition of The Wonderful World of Dance Magazine