Yuli is the nickname given to Carlos Acosta by his father, Pedro, who considers him the son of Ogun, an African god and a fighter. As a child Yuli avoids discipline and education, learning from the streets of an impoverished and abandoned Havana. His father, however, has other ideas, and knowing that his son has a natural talent for dance, sends him to the National Ballet School of Cuba. Despite his repeated escapes and initial poor behaviour, the boy is inevitably drawn to the world of dance, and begins to shape his legendary career from a young age, becoming the first black dancer to be cast in some of the most prestigious ballet roles, originally written for white dancers, in companies such as the Houston Ballet or the Royal Ballet in London.
- " Along the way, it also touches on race, colonialism and dreams of a better life, all of which resonate through the drama and Acosta's breathtaking dance work. " – Rich Cline (Shadows on the Wall)
- " The genius in the film is in how each section feeds each other, and indeed needs each other (the dance comments on the drama, and vice versa), and produces a wholly original and deeply affecting movie. " – Kevin Maher (Times, UK)
- " Superstar Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta takes us through his life in unusual style in a mix of drama and dance, fiction and reality. " – Dave Calhoun (Time Out)