Iniciación a la Sombra with Sira Hernández

‘Iniciación a la Sombra’ is a performance by pianist Sira Hernández and Pau Aran where they both improvise on the stage whilst interacting with each other, so that the emerging music seems to be to prompting the dancer’s movements, but also the opposite: each step and every gesture the improviser dances raises unexpected new perspectives on the music.

The central idea of the piece is the shadow, as the original nucleus, before all of creation, the formless that gives birth to everything, and at the same time endures as a trace from that mysterious moment of its origin.

The name of the performance is taken from the book of the poet Ángel Crespo, also titled, Iniciación a la Sombra (HIPERION, 1996), and translated into Catalan for this occasion by the poet and translator Francesc Parcerisas. The book served as a reference and inspiration for the performance.

The show also features a set installation by visual artist Stella Rahola Matutes, so the set is also presented as a joint meditation by the three artists on the shadow theme.

A year after the initial performance in 2016, the show was presented in Madrid under the frame of ‘Ellas Crean’ Festival. On that occasion, the actor Manuel Galiana did the recitato for the evening.

Barcelona. Evening. Through a tunnel, the melody of a piano imposes itself. By its side, a dance is heard, fragile, like a silhouette sitting at the piano and seems to hide from my eyes. Questions and answers emerge as concomitant rhythms. Two men walk and circulate in the image of orbits looking for a direction of their own.

One of them starts another dance…

There, embraced by his shadow, curious about that sun that accompanies him from afar, he walks on the legs of an animal that no longer belongs to him. He slides over the piano. He stops, like the memory of a past that returns. Meanwhile, the other man reveals himself as the one who speaks, who will lead us with his voice and will alternate his poetry during the show.

The first one is infected by the melody, by those growing melodies, which climb like vines rolling up through his torso. How many times have I wondered who was responsible for this immense coincidence? How many nights, waiting for the dream to come, did I get anguished at the idea of imagining the smallest atom of our existence? In the middle of this emptiness, he got soaked at night and danced before the brightness of unknown stars.

Thus he danced, and his hands warned him that he could not forget the ground, that his feet needed that ground, and that despite his volatile impulses, he was no longer a bird. He fell and stood up, turned as fast as he could and took over that new territory. Then he moved mountains and quieted the sound of the seas.


Crooked, hesitant, he sheltered himself, his hands embraced his face and found contact. This time he turned quietly and breathed deeply. There, he opened his eyes and accepted his human condition, decided to come from our side, to share his uncertainty and his utopias.

All music - if it is pure - must be surrounded by the shadow; and that its words be a whirlwind between light and darkness akin to that of the world, when it so rarely wants to speak to us and to hear our surprise…
Ángel Crespo (1926-1995), ‘Iniciación a la sombra’

Iniciación a la Sombra with Sira Hernández

2015 Barcelona

2016 Madrid

35 minutes


Sira Hernández


Rubén Martín


Pau Aran


Francesc Parcerisas (Barcelona), Manuel Galiana (Madrid)

SCENOGRAPHY (in Theater)

Stella Rahola Matutes


Charlie Cattrall


Sira Hernández, Cortana, Bohemia’s


Festival Ellas Crean, Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Arts Santa Mònica – Departament de Cultura, Teatre-Auditori de Sant Cugat

Pau Aran