The Critics’ Circle bestowed their highest honour, the annual award, to incoming Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta CBE for Services to the Arts.
Speaking at the ceremony in early May, Chair of the Dance Section Graham Watts said that Carlos had been a trailblazer all his career, and his achievements now included becoming the first person of colour to receive the Award for Services to the Arts.
'I doubt that Carlos ever set out to be a trailblazer. But, in almost everything that he has done, Carlos – a man who is himself innately humble – has been a true pioneer.'
When handed the honour by President of the Critics’ Circle, Mark Shenton, Acosta said that he was overwhelmed and wished to thank the critics for their part in supporting his career.
Previous winners of the award include David Hockney, Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Nicholas Hytner, Sir Richard Eyre, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren, Tom Stoppard, Alan Bennett, Ken Loach and Stephen Sondheim.
Carlos Acosta joins Birmingham Royal Ballet as the company’s Director in January 2020.