Ballet Nacional de Cuba English National Ballet: Principal (2011-2017) Bayerisches Staatsballett: Principal (2017-present)
A native of Havana, Cuba, Yonah Acosta has been a member of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the English National Ballet, and the Bayerisches Staatsballett. Acosta began his training when he was ten years old at the National Ballet School Cuba after his uncle Carlos Acosta asked his instructor to audition Yonah.
At age 13, Yonah appeared in his uncle’s show Tocororo in London, in which he played a younger version of Carlos.
After dancing with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Acosta joined the English National Ballet in 2011 and became a principal in 2014.
His repertoire with the company included Romeo & Juliet (Romeo, Mercutio), Giselle (Albrecht), Le Corsaire (Ali, Birbanto, Conrad), Roland Petit’s Le Jeune Homme et la Mort (Young Man), and Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc.
His repertoire with Bayerisches Staatsballett includes Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll, The White Rabbit); Roland Petit’s Coppélia (Franz); Don Quixote (Basilio); Wayne McGregor’s Kairos and Sunyata – Portrait Wayne McGregor; Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère (The Golden Idol); Frederick Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardee (Colas); John Neumeier’s The Lady of the Camellias (Gaston Rieux), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck, Philostrat), and The Nutcracker (Günther); Yury Grigorovich’s Spartacus (title role); The Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio); Rudolf Nureyev’s Raymonda (Jean de Brienne); Ray Barra’s Raymonda (Abderakhman); and George Balanchine’s Rubies.
Acosta has been the recipient of numerous awards: Silver Medal First Beijing Ballet Competition (2007), Grand Prix International Ballett Competition Cuba (2007), Gold Medal Shanghai International Ballet Competition (2008), Winner Emerging Dancer and People’s Choice Award (2012), and Mr. Virtuoso Award International Ballet Festival Dance Open (2011, 2012).
Acosta starred in Sin La Habana, a movie in which he plays a ballet dancer involved in a love triangle; the film was featured at the 38th annual Miami Film Festival in March 2021.
Acosta married fellow ENB dancer Laurretta Summerscales in 2017; the couple then left ENB and now both dance with Bayerisches Staatsballett.