Carlos Acosta: ‘Writing is very lonely but it’s not nearly as painful as dance’

Repeating Islands


Carlos Acosta is one of the best and most famous dancers in the world. So why did he write his first novel? –Jane Shilling speaks to Acosta about Pig’s Foot.

‘My baby!” cries Carlos Acosta, swooping down on my copy of his first novel, Pig’s Foot, and giving it – mwah! – a smacking kiss. He is glowing with pride, as well he might be. He’s just read a rave review that compares thebookwith Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum.

“Did you like it?” he asks. Yes, I did. “What did you like about it?” You might suspect another writer of fishing for compliments, but not Acosta. He has spent three of his four decades in rehearsal rooms, analysing every step. The habit of taking something apart – a gesture, a novel – so as to put it together again, refined and improved, comes as naturally to him…

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