Leticia Silva and her twin brother Alejandro are founding members of Carlos Acosta’s Cuban dance company, Acosta Danza. She tells Giverny Masso how they support each other in their work…
How did you and your brother get into dance?
We were seven years old when my mother enrolled me in a ballet course. I loved it, I remember being fascinated by the music and movements. My brother came to see me all the time, but my father had prejudices against him learning ballet. Nevertheless, my brother started coming as my father was not able to take him to taekwondo anymore. My mother told us that there was a special ballet school where we could have academic training and learn ballet. We attended the auditions and we both got in when we were nine.
How did you get involved with Acosta Danza?
The creation of Acosta Danza came at the right time for me. I had been thinking about leaving the Cuban National Ballet for a while. I felt stuck professionally. I love more contemporary work and the chances of dancing something more modern were slim at my former company. I needed new challenges. I didn’t know much about the project, other than that Carlos Acosta was retiring and wanted to create a company in Havana. It was a risky move going to the auditions – the National Ballet is very unforgiving about dancers auditioning for other companies. In the end it all worked out.
How do you and your twin brother support each other in your practice?
We are not just brother and sister; we are twins and twins have a special relationship. Working with my brother is a wonderful mixed bag. We have grown and developed together as dancers. When we dance together we connect and anticipate each other’s movements and reactions. Alejandro is a physically strong dancer and an excellent partner. He reads me very well. We are used to being together, at home and on the road. He is my GPS in a strange city and I am his Lonely Planet.
Can you tell me about Evolution?
Evolution is about growing and taking off as a company. The programme includes our own take on Christopher Bruce’s Rooster. Growing up, we never went wild with the Rolling Stones, but Christopher Bruce has allowed us to have all the fun in the world with minuets mixed with rock’n’roll. Then there is Paysage, Soudain, La Nuit by Pontus Lidberg. This is a very special work as Pontus was able to fuse his dance style with Cuban genres.
What is your advice for emerging dancers?
Sometimes we are too focused on success, but failure is actually our stepping stone towards bigger goals. We need to be more aware of the victories instead of fearing that complicated move that didn’t turn out well. Maybe this line of thinking comes from my transition from ballet to contemporary dance, where perfection takes on more nuances. Live in the moment, be demanding, but remember that it’s dancing and that means having fun.
Training: Escuela Nacional de Ballet Alejo Carpentier in Cuba (1999-2004), Escuela Nacional de Ballet in Cuba (2004-08)
First professional role: Dance Corps of Theme and Variations by George Balanchine, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Gran Teatro de la Habana (2008)
Acosta Danza’s Evolution opens at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre on March 3 and tours until April 11. Details: danceconsortium.com