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"PARADISO" After Dante Alighieri's "The Divine Comedy"

Paradiso is the third and the last section of Dante's epic poem of Divine Comedy. In it, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri describes his journey through Heaven, the things he sees and people he encounters on the way to the so-called Empyrean, the true home of God, saints, angels and the souls of the faithful. He is accompanied by Beatrice, identified as Dante's love of life Beatrice Portinari who acompany him through the 9 Spheres of Heaven. As presented in the Paradiso, Dante's idea of Paradise is tied to his understanding of the cosmos. The Paradiso has much to tell us about happiness, the perfection of the intellect, the nature of true freedom, the role of love, and the profound connection of the good and the truth.

          In the Solo specially choreographed for Sergei, we were throughout the creative process finding our interpretation of the journey to heaven. In my version the voice of Beatrice is replaced by the music (Kirill Richter's score specially created for this piece), which guides him towards divinity. Time and space looses its value, the soul is finally free.

"An extremely personal contemplation of the Divine Comedy, retracing Dante’s footsteps: Polunin and Dante, two rebellious and stateless poets, forced to dig deep within themselves in search of meaning and love—found their respective paradises in art and creativity, striking sparks that lighted up the world. The term Metànoia, Greek for “conversion”, was used by Jung to indicate the soul’s spontaneous attempt at self-healing after a crisis. This new creation is Polunin’s own metànoia, the story of his journey from hell to heaven, of how he found his own divine spark, and demonstrated that salvation is possible. Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso are his triple challenge, with different musicians taking turns on the stage: a challenge none other could take, and one that Polunin has accepted putting his own self on the line."

Ravenna Festival (2021)

by and with Sergei Polunin
Premiere 01.09.2021, Teatro Alighieri, Ravenna, Italy

At the Ravenna Festival
“Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda” (Paradiso I, 34)

Choreography by Ross Freddie Ray
Music by Miroslav Bako
Video design – mapping by Yan Yanko
Dante’s voice / singer Vincenzo Spirito

Choreography by Sergei Polunin
Music by Gregory Revert
Video design – mapping by Marcella Grimaux, Aaron Kaufman, Daniel Faubert – Noisy Head Studio
Stage design by Noisy Head Studio and The Fury

Choreography by Jiří Bubeníček
Music by Kirill Richter
Set design by Otto Bubeníček

Piano Kemal Gekic, Kirill Richter
Vocals Andjela Ninkovic
Lighting desiger Konstantin Binkin
Technical director Steve Mauri
Costume assistant Tatjana Strugar
Video operation director Francis Corbeil
Concept/libreto Zrnka Miskovic


Stage I

Stage II

Rehearsal I

Rehearsal II

Rehearsal I © Filip Jägr | Rehearsal II © Otto Bubeníček | Stage I & II © Otto Bubeníček



Stage design

Stage Design: Otto Bubeníček

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