Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in rehearsal for Joshua L. Peugh's Bleachers. Photo by Richard Hill, Courtesy Peugh.

5 New Shows We're Curious About this Month

From Fort Worth to Minneapolis to London, tango to contemporary to bharatanatyam, May is packed with unexpected premieres.


Keigwin & Wolcott are Reuniting (and It Feels So Good)

Keigwin and Wolcott. Photo by Christaan Felber, Courtesy DANCE NOW.

You never quite know what you're getting yourself into when you drop in on a DANCE NOW performance at Joe's Pub, a space beloved for its anything-goes attitude. Places Please!, its most recent commission, is a duet reuniting Keigwin + Company co-founders Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott. Set in the hectic moments before the curtain rises, the work takes the audience on a zany, comic journey through life behind the scenes while tracing the duo's artistic relationship. May 4–6. dancenownyc.org.

London's New Genre-Mixing Master

We like to think of Akram Khan as the master mixer of disparate dance styles with his signature kathak/contemporary aesthetic, but one of his longtime associates might be giving him a run for his money. Jose Agudo adds bharatanatyam and flamenco to the mix with Silk Road, an evening of world premieres with which he is launching his Agudo Dance Company. The program features Agudo dancing two solos—one by Spanish choreographer Rafael Amargo, the other by kathak artist Nahid Siddiqui—and a duet with bharatanatyam/contemporary dancer Mavin Khoo. The eclectic blend of styles promises an intriguing cultural collision. May 4–5. sadlerswells.com.

Having "The Talk" with Joshua L. Peugh

Peugh (right) rehearses members of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in his Bleachers. Photo by Richard Hill, Courtesy Peugh.

The whimsical Joshua L. Peugh brings another wacky-wonderful premise to the table with Bleachers. The new work for his company, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, confronts the issue of gay sex ed—or rather, how its absence impacts young gay men and their view of themselves. Set in the late '90s with music to match, expect awkward charm and rigorous honesty. May 5–7. darkcirclescontemporarydance.com.

A Tango with Danger—In Musical Form

Immigrants—do they have stories to tell! Colombian-born Sergio Trufillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!, A Bronx Tale) is directing and co-choreographing (with Julio Zurita) Arrabal for Harvard's American Repertory Theater. It's about a young woman who searches for her father in Argentina 18 years after he was "disappeared" by the ruling junta. The musical asks the questions, What is our responsibility? Do we just turn away and pretend that these violent acts, so commonplace for many in South America, did not happen? Despite the dark nature of the narrative, the exuberant Trujillo says the choreographic process has been "exhilarating," calling the musical "a story told through tango." Trujillo is working with a book by John Weidman and music by composer Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain), whose live rock-tango rhythms propel the action onstage. May 12–June 18. americanrepertorytheater.org.

Awesome Mix, Vol. 7: Hip-Hop Edition

The artists of MIXTAPE. Photo by Bill Cameron, Courtesy Cowles Center.

Seven hip-hop artists local to the Twin Cities are coming together at the Cowles Center for MIXTAPE. Using their diverse backgrounds and origin stories within hip hop as a starting point, the evening of work probes the dance form's multifaceted evolution and questions the appropriation and commercialization of hip-hop culture. May 19–21. thecowlescenter.org.

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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.

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