Cullberg Ballet in Jefta van Dinther's Protagonist. Photo by Urban Jörén, Courtesy Cullberg Ballet

3 April Ballet Events You Should Know

Spring performance season is in full swing! Here are three programs taking ballet off the beaten path.

Cullberg Ballet Celebrates 50 Years of Drama

As it embarks on its 50th-anniversary season, Cullberg Ballet remains a beacon of European contemporary dance. Influenced by Kurt Jooss, founder Birgit Cullberg revolutionized ballet in Sweden and beyond, bringing literary and dramatic themes to her Stockholm-based company. Her son, the legendary Mats Ek, took the helm from 1985 to 1993. For the anniversary celebration, the company has planned a double bill, with Ek and Ana Laguna (his wife and muse) staging Cullberg's 1968 Eurydice is Dead, set to music by Ennio Morricone, and young Dutch/Swedish choreographer Jefta van Dinther's Protagonist (2016), to a score including songs by Elias. Dansens Hus, April 27–29.

Canada's Epic Birthday Bash

Ballet BC's Alexis Fletcher. Photo by Michael Slobodian, Courtesy Ballet BC.

To celebrate Canada's 150th, the National Ballet of Canada, Alberta Ballet and Ballet BC are joining forces. ENCOUNT3RS, commissioned by the National Arts Centre, will feature brand-new works by Guillaume Côté, Jean Grand-Maître and Emily Molnar, with composers Kevin Lau, Andrew Staniland and Nicole Lizée, respectively. April 20–22.

Bots at the Ballet

Flobots and the dancers of Wonderbound. Photo by Amanda Tipton, Courtesy Wonderbound.

Denver contemporary ballet company Wonderbound (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado) has become something of a hub for collaborations in the Mile High City. They first performed to live, local music in 2011, and have since dedicated nearly every new work to hands-on experimentation with musicians in genres ranging from Baroque to rock. This April, with artistic director Garrett Ammon's ballet DIVISIONS, they foray into the hip-hop world. The piece will celebrate the release of the Flobots' new album, NOENEMIES, serving as the starting point for the band's national tour. April 14–16, 22–23, 29–30.

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.