In Paradisum

Antonio Ruz

Antonio Ruz, awarded with the  Spanish National Dance Prize 2018, presents his first original creation for the CND. In a context of research and experimentation, he worked with the cast in the workshop The Lab last June, sharing his vision and placing all his trust in our dancers. That experience marked the origin of In Paradisum.

  • World Premiere: Compañía Nacional de Danza at Teatros del Canal, Madrid (Spain), April 8th 2021.

From time immemorial, humankind has sought collective mechanisms and rituals to transcend the mundane. And individuals have needed to feel part of a whole. Previously, religious mass, cults, pilgrimage and pagan celebrations filled the bill. Nowadays, music festivals, macro-concerts and raves are, perhaps, increasingly filling that space. After all, they are gatherings of thousands who join in common activities revolving around music and the body. Rather than a place, then, maybe paradise is actually a state of body and mind?

As a sort of time travel, In Paradisum presents a dialogue between religious music and popular music; between the sacred and the worldly; the group and the individual. It conveys a humanistic reflection of the concept of spiritualism and of the search for it in our time. And the stage ritual is full of movement, rhythm, subtlety, unison motion, throbbing pulse, emotion and energy.

The dance, as the vehicle of expression and primitive language, is conveyed through solos, duos and group choreographies. The creation is faithfully built upon the choral polyphonies of Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), one of the most advanced and influential composers of his time. With his innovative style, whose influence reached the 20th Century, his music pushed way beyond the bounds of the polyphonic Renaissance, with its balance and purity, to announce the intense dramatic quality and passionate expression of the baroque. With the aim and desire of recuperating and revealing the true value of Spanish musical heritage, this creation pays the first ever tribute in dance to this great composer.

Furthermore, the piece encompasses an original aesthetic concept inspired by the chromatic and luminous painter’s pallet of El Greco—a contemporary of Tomás Luis de Victoria and often compared with him. The visionary intensity of his paintings evokes at once a human and divine transcendence; a holy insanity between the worldly and the heavenly which combine to produce a spiritualist naturalism.

Dance, art and music join hands in In Paradisum; a polyphonic dance



  • Choreography:
    Antonio Ruz
  • Original Concept:
    Pablo Martín Caminero and Antonio Ruz
  • Music:
    Tomás Luis de Victoria (poliphonic vocal music by La Grande Chapelle. Director: Albert Recasens) and Pablo Martín Caminero
  • Set Design:
    Paco Azorín
  • Costume Design:
    Rosa García Andújar
  • Lightning Design :
    Olga García
  • Dramaturgy :
    Rosabel Huguet
  • Director's Assistant :
    Lucía Bernardo
  • Duration:
    35 minutes