An empty storefront in Avondale marks the spot where Miss Geri’s School of Dance operated for decades. (Erica Gunderson / WTTW News)

For decades, students learned to pirouette, tumble, tap and twirl at Miss Geri’s School of Dance. But last month, owner Geri Mroz Panicko decided to hang up her dance shoes and close the studio permanently because of the pandemic.

Cara Marie Gary in “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

This fall was to mark the Joffrey’s first season in its new home on the Lyric Opera stage after many years of residence at the Auditorium Theatre.

Dance for Life (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Dancers, perhaps more than any other group of performing artists, have been hit hardest, both artistically and financially, by the fallout from the coronavirus. So this year’s Dance for Life 2020 event will feature a new virtual format.

Chicago gospel singer-songwriter Donald Lawrence speaks with “Chicago Tonight” via videoconference. (WTTW News)

The city had declared 2020 as Chicago’s “year of music.” Now with live music all but shut down, we’ve been talking with artists who were set to share their sounds before the coronavirus outbreak – including Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Judith Jamison’s “Divining.” (Photo by Nan Melville)

Chicago’s dance card is full to bursting. And one of the city’s most beloved “visitors” – the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – is now drawing its usual huge crowds to the Auditorium Theatre.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Solomon Dumas (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Chicago native Solomon Dumas is one of 32 dancers in the national touring company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This week, he performs at the Auditorium Theatre, where he first saw the company nearly 20 years ago.

Joffrey Ballet artists Stefan Goncalvez and Brooke Linford. (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

A coming change of venue for the Joffrey Ballet is a major shift, and its initial opening season will be of great importance, especially since it also will mark the 25th anniversary of the Joffrey as a formidable Chicago cultural institution. 

Joffrey Ballet artists in “Commedia.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

Throughout its history, the Joffrey Ballet’s dancers have been renowned for their ability to create characters as well as to put their superb technical skills to work. They also are capable of carrying over their acting ability to contemporary “plotless” works.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater company members perform “Parallel Lives.” (Photo by Michelle Reid)

Two questions invariably come to mind when I see Deeply Rooted Dance Theater: Why is this company not more famous? And why isn’t it championed as Chicago’s counterpart of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater?

Yoshihisa Arai and Amanda Assucena of the Joffrey Ballet perform Christopher Wheeldon’s Chicago-themed reinvention of “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

This highly original reimagining of the classic holiday tale is a monumental production both in its storytelling and its design, yet it manages to beautifully interweave its grand scale elements with human scale emotions. 

Dancers Tracey Hodgkin-Valcy and Merrick Mitchell rehearse a duet for “Lineage: The Black Dance Legacy Project.” (WTTW News)

Eight of the city’s most prominent dance companies are coming together for a one-night-only concert this week with a single mission: to celebrate the legacy of black dance in Chicago.

Greig Matthews and Amanda Assucena in Joffrey Ballet’s production of “Jane Eyre.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

British choreographer Cathy Marston’s enthralling production of “Jane Eyre,” is now being performed with stellar artistry and deep emotional insight by the Joffrey Ballet even though not a single word is spoken throughout the performance.

In “Jane Eyre,” Cathy Marston said she creates movement based on quotes taken directly from Charlotte Bronte’s 19th century novel. 

“Synapse” by Nick Pupillo (Photo by MREID Photography)

The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theaters declared 2019 “The Year of Chicago Theatre.” But anyone who has been following dance in Chicago in recent years will attest to the fact that it is now time to declare a “Year of Chicago Dance.”

From left: Porscha Spells, KC Bevis and Kelsey Reiter in the Chicago Dance Crash world premiere production of “Lil Pine Nut: The Learning Curve of Pinocchio.” (Photo by Ashley Deran)

As highly animated as the show might be, “Lil Pine Nut: The Learning Curve of Pinocchio” is no Disney-style version of a universally popular story. 

Chicago Dance Crash

This year’s gala concert was in many ways the sharpest production to date, with bravura performances by Giordano Dance Chicago, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Chicago Dance Crash and a slew of others.