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Cuban ballet dancer, writer and cast member Carlos Acosta poses during a photocall for the movie 'Yuli' in Madrid, Spain, Nov. 26, 2018. EPA-EFE/Luca Piergiovanni
Cuban ballet dancer, writer and cast member Carlos Acosta poses during a photocall for the movie 'Yuli' in Madrid, Spain, Nov. 26, 2018. EPA-EFE/Luca Piergiovanni

Cuban dance legend Carlos Acosta takes to the big screen for "Yuli"

The movie tells the story of the Cuban dancer based on his autobiography. 

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The life of legendary Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta was the focus of Spanish director Icíar Bollaín's latest feature "Yuli" and both the creative mind behind the movie and the dancer, who plays himself in the movie, were in Madrid Monday to discuss the work during a press presentation. 
       
"Yuli" tells the story of Acosta's rise to fame from his downtrodden Havana neighborhood to the world stage. 
       
Like many of Bollaín's projects, there is a strong social element to movie, this time in the form of education outreach work: "Educational resources are available as downloads on the (film's) website, which teachers are welcome to use as long as authors are credited," the movie's press team said.
       
"We also encourage you to share your 'choreographies' on this website," the statement added. 
       
Since leaving Cuba's tropical climes, Acosta became the Royal Ballet in London's sweetheart, a time during which he made history by becoming the first black dancer to perform the role of Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet."
       
Born in Havana in 1973, Acosta joined the Cuban National Ballet forced by his father as a way to channel his seemingly endless amounts of physical energy.
       
His father nicknamed him Yuli after an African Warrior God, and the movie tells the story of the Cuban dancer based on his autobiography which was adapted by British scriptwriter Paul Laverty. 
       
Icíar Bollaín is a Spanish actress, film director and screenwriter who rose to fame with "Take my eyes" (2003) a movie which put domestic violence in the spotlight.

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