"Horizonte," choreographed and performed by Monica Saucedo. (Credit Dean Paul)

It was an evening of multiple celebrations Saturday as Chicago’s Ensemble Español Spanish dance company arrived on the stage of the Auditorium Theatre in full regalia to mark the return of live performance in the landmark hall following its pandemic shutdown.

(Courtesy Ensemble Espanol)

Behind the scenes with Ensemble Espanol as they prepare for an energetic show of Spanish dance.

“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.”

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in “Decadance/Chicago” by Ohad Naharin. (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Recent performances by a number of major Chicago dance companies suggest that in a city renowned for its theater scene, an impressive component of drama also can be found in the work of its dancers.