There are many historic buildings at Woolwich Arsenal, re-purposed from their original function. One of the finest is Building 40 on Artillery Square intended as a Board Room and Academy for young officers. 

There are currently no outward signs but it is the Acosta Dance Centre and home to the Acosta Dance Foundation set up in 2011, as impressive inside as outside.

Members were warmly welcomed by Javier Torres, Managing Director of the Foundation and some of his staff. There followed a brief tour of the offices, Green Room and studios.

Because of studio space, we were split into two groups, both watching:

Acosta Danza, a company set up by Carlos Acosta to nurture Cuban dance talent, in rehearsal excerpts of two pieces (at very close proximity) - Soledad, an intense pas de deux and an exhilarating  new version of Carmen, to be staged at Sadler’s Wells on 2-6 July.


Pre-professional students on the Acosta Advanced Training programme working on classical solos under the guidance of ex Royal Ballet dancer, Ludovic Ondiviela. This new programme has started with about 10 students but will be expanded later in 2024.

Over some tea, coffee and pastries, there was a chance to hear more about the work of the Foundation and Carlos’ vision, which includes plans for a digital platform to extend the work internationally and strengthen collaboration in this cultural hub in south east London.

It was an exceptional and well planned visit and LBC has made a donation under the Big Give Arts for Impact initiative which ran for a week immediately after our visit. A donation through this platform enabled it to be doubled by match funding.

For those who were unable to come, we have been promised another visit!

The London Ballet Circle is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1123258 © 2021 The London Ballet Circle. All rights reserved unless explicitly stated otherwise.
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