It’s not often that scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) find themselves in a ballet studio, but for one of their latest projects that intertwines performance art with ocean preservation, that’s where the work had to be done.

In a collaboration with Boston Ballet, a team of WHOI scientists headed to the city to help choreographer Nanine Linning bring her new piece La Mer to life. The 50-minute performance tells the story of the ocean’s greatest burdens such as oil spills, plastic pollution and sea level rise, to bring awareness to marine conservation and sustainability.

La Mer, performed by 33 dancers, is the second act of Boston’s Ballet show Our Journey, which runs through Sunday, April 16 at the Citizens Bank Opera House. Over 350 WHOI scientists attended the premiere on April 6 with complementary tickets from the company.

Senior WHOI scientist Larry Pratt first heard about the project late last summer. He’d worked with dance and art groups in the past, and reached out to Boston Ballet offering up any scientific support the company might need for the show.

In the fall, Ms. Linning joined a WHOI meeting on microplastics over Zoom and shared her ideas for La Mer.

“I think that we all thought she was really inspiring,” said Mr. Pratt. “I would even say that some of my colleagues stopped being scientists for a moment and went back to being kids listening to her talk.”

Mr. Pratt explained that while many of the conversations between the two groups were about basic science education, they also deeply discussed the reliance people have on the ocean and its species. The show and its choreography is meant to reflect that dependency.

“It’s such an amazing difference between what you see in rehearsal and on stage with the lighting and costumes and live orchestra and video projections,” said Mr. Pratt. “When you see really good art like that you have moments where time kind of stands still and any problems you’ve been thinking about that day just go away.”