Born in Lisbon, Paulo Ribeiro began his dance studies in Brussels and started his career as a dancer in several Belgian and French companies. But it was as a choreographer that he developed his career, making his debut in 1984, in Paris, in the Stridanse company, of which he was co-founder. Four years later, back in Portugal, he began his collaboration with the Portuguese Dance Company of Lisbon and with Ballet Gulbenkian. From 1991 on, his choreographic work expanded internationally, creating pieces for internationally renowned companies such as Nederlands Dans Theater; Grand Théâtre de Genève; Centre Chorégraphique de Nevers and Ballet de Lorraine.
With the creation of the Paulo Ribeiro Company, in 1995, the choreographer found the space to express his own language and authorial work.
He was the Commissioner of the cycle Dancem, in 1996 and 1997, at Teatro Nacional São João and, in 1998, he was General and Programming Director at Teatro Viriato, in Viseu. He was Commissioner for Dance in Coimbra 2003 – Portuguese Capital of Culture. In the same year, he received an invitation to direct the Ballet Gulbenkian, a work for which he would be awarded. In 2006, after the extinction of the Ballet Gulbenkian, he returned to Viseu, to Teatro Viriato, to retake the direction. In 2014, he was honoured by the Viseu City Council with the Municipal Medal of Merit for his contribution of recognized importance to the municipality of Viseu. He remained in the position until 2016, when was invited by the Ministry of Culture to take over the artistic direction of the Portuguese National Ballet Company. In 2019, he launched the project Casa da Dança, in Almada.
Meanwhile, he participated as choreographer in several productions, namely in cinema, for the film La Valse, by Portuguese renowned filmmaker João Botelho. Besides his creative work, Paulo Ribeiro has dedicated himself to education, conducting several workshops in Portugal and in the countries where the company has been. He teaches Choreographic Composition as part of the master’s programme in Contemporary Choreographic Creation at Superior Dance School in Lisbon, and has given classes at the National Conservatory Dance School.
In 2022, he returned to the artistic direction of his company and, in 2023, he started a new chapter in Cascais, where the company will be based, to continue the work of research, creation, production, dissemination and training in contemporary dance.
Paulo Ribeiro signs a plural work with more than 40 creations that has been distinguished with several national and international awards, such as the Acarte/Maria Madalena de Azeredo Perdigão Award, ex-aequo with Clara Andermatt, the Prix d’Auteur at the V Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint- Denis (France); the New Choreography Award from the Bonnie Bird Fund-Laban Centre (United Kingdom); the Bordalo Award from Casa da Imprensa (Portugal), among many others.