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. cullbergballetten.se/en.
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. nac-cna.ca.
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. wonderbound.com.