Cuban-born dancer Ruiz has choreographed five critically acclaimed, full-length ballets inspired by his Latin heritage. For 21 years he was a principal dancer with New York’s Ballet Hispanico. Admired for his ability to infuse classical ballet with Latin American social dances, Ruiz has been awarded the New York dance world’s highest honor, a Bessie Award, in observance of his celebrated career, and in September 2006 he was honored for his illustrious career by The Cuban Artist’s Fund. Ruiz’s works have most recently been performed at the Boston Arts Academy, NY City Center, and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. In 2007 he will be choreographing for Alvin Ailey, Fordham University, and Marymount College, in addition to The Joffrey Ballet.
The Joyce Award will supported The Joffrey Ballet in partnering with Luna Negra Dance Theater to commission Ruiz to create a new ballet that will be performed by and become a permanent part of the repertoire for both companies. The dance premiered in Chicago during Luna Negra’s 2007 subscription series as well as during The Joffrey’s 2007 Iowa tour.