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Fernando Duarte and Stefan Goncalvez perform in “Swing Low.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

With its ideally titled program, “Home: A Celebration,” the Joffrey Ballet finally made its pandemic-delayed debut as the resident dance company at the Lyric Opera House on Wednesday. And it did so by way of a beautifully constructed and exquisitely danced program.

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The Joffrey Ballet returns with “Home: A Celebration,” a dance embodied after the old Negro Spiritual, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” (WTTW News)

The Joffrey Ballet is welcoming back company dancers and instructors. It’s also welcoming choreographers, including Chanel DaSilva. As one of Joffrey’s 2020 Winning Works choreographers, the New York based artist is back with a dance interpretation and reimagining of the old Negro Spiritual, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

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(Photo credit: Kyle Dunleavy)

Should you need any additional proof of the adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” the recent one-night-only performance by the Joffrey Ballet at the Ravinia Festival provided all the evidence required.

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“Florencia En El Amazonas” (Credit: Lynn Lane / Houston Grand Opera)

After 15 months of dark theaters and livestreamed performances, two of Chicago’s most famous performing arts companies announce they are returning to the stage for live performances — this time under one roof.

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Stefan Goncalvez (Photo by Matt de la Peña)

This world premiere, feverishly choreographed by Nicolas Blanc and performed by 15 of the company’s emotionally fiery dancers, is a work of such beauty and dynamic intensity that it can and should easily endure as part of the standard ballet rep for years to come.

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Anais Bueno with Brooke Linford and Christine Roca (Courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet)

Two thrillingly dramatic works — one by way of dance and another by way of radio theater — now serve as vivid evocations marking the one-year “anniversary” of the pandemic, and all the physical and psychological dislocations it has engendered. 

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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.

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(WTTW News)

How the Chicago performing arts community is preparing for the uncertainty of the spring season.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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

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(Courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet)

The venerable Chicago dance company got a creative boost from across the pond for the closing show of its season. Meet the Brit who made his own Britney Spears video and is now working with the Joffrey Ballet.

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“Vessels Bearing” by Xiang Xu (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

From the performers’ dazzling technical skill and emotional conviction to the sophistication and complexity of each choreographer’s work, this program of four world premiere works was remarkable on many levels.

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Alberto Velazquez and Victoria Jaiani in the Joffrey Ballet’s “Anna Karenina.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

This haunting, visually fascinating interpretation of Leo Tolstoy’s massive 1877 novel serves as the latest evidence of the unique ability of the Joffrey to turn dance into riveting, multi-dimensional theater.