“Midsummer Night’s Dream” performed by the Joffrey Ballet ensemble. (Cheryl Mann)

It is a very good bet that you have never seen (and might never see) anything quite like Alexander Ekman’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” writes WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss. She calls the show a wild and crazy dream-come-to-life that is brilliantly performed.

Victoria Jaiani and Dylan Gutierrez in Joffrey Ballet’s “Studies in Blue.”(Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

The Joffrey Ballet demonstrated both the technical brilliance and emotional boldness of its dancers as the company opened its 2024 season on the Lyric Opera House stage with “Studies in Blue,” a fascinating program of three modern ballets. 

The Joffrey Ballet Company performs “The Nutcracker.” (Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

Here in Chicago, a number of reimaginings of the classic story demonstrate how the family tradition can be transformed to fit the interests of modern audiences while also celebrating the Christmas magic that made that original ballet such a success.

Jonathan Dole and José Pablo Castro Cuevas in “Frankenstein.” (Cheryl Mann)

Over the years there have been countless interpretations of “Frankenstein,” Mary Shelley’s extraordinary 1818 Gothic novel. But the Joffrey Ballet’s production of the story that recently opened at the Lyric Opera House might very well be its most stunning interpretation yet.

Joffrey Ballet will stage  “Frankenstein” this fall. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg Photography)

If you need a nudge to get out and enjoy what the city has to offer, here’s a starter list of more than 20 shows to know running across the Chicago area this fall. 

Victoria Jaiani in Joffrey Ballet production of “The Little Mermaid.” (Credit: Cheryl Mann)

The ballet, now receiving its Chicago premiere in a grand-scale production by the Joffrey Ballet on the Lyric Opera House stage, is a strange but compelling work inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s enduring classic and features impeccible dancing. 

Victoria Jaiani and Alberto Velazquez in the Joffrey Ballet production of “Anna Karenina” by choreographer Yuri Possokhov. (Credit: Cheryl Mann)

The performance is a fascinating hybrid of ballet technique, modern drama and evocative projection design. Bringing the show fully to life is both the technical polish of the Joffrey dancers and their exceptional gift for acting that so vividly captures the difference between love and passion.

The Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Pure, grand-scale magic. That is the only way to describe the Joffrey Ballet’s glorious production of “The Nutcracker,” which breaks the mold of the traditional version by being set against the grandeur of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair.

The Joffrey Ballet performs the world premiere of the newly-commissioned “Platée” with choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa set to Rameau’s Suite from Platée performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with conductor Harry Bicket. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

It was an evening of sheer, unadulterated delight as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra joined forces with the Joffrey Ballet on Thursday for a pair of world premieres.

Amanda Assucena and Edson Barbosa of the Joffrey Ballet dance in “Vespertine.” (Credit: Cheryl Mann)

The Joffrey Ballet spun onto the Lyric Opera House stage with a program of three beautifully danced works under the umbrella title “Beyond Borders.” Those “borders” were stylistic rather than geographical.

Victoria Jaiani as Kitri in "Don Quixote." (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

The production not only ideally captures the mix of the comical, satirical, fantastical and romantic aspects of Miguel de Cervantes’ story, but with its beautiful sets, costumes, projections, puppets and aerial tricks it also is an ideal showcase for the Joffrey.

Gayeon Jung and Victoria Jaiani of the Joffrey Ballet perform in George Balancbine’s “Serenade.” (Credit: Cheryl Mann)

For its spring season at the Lyric Opera House, the Joffrey Ballet has devised a program composed of two dramatically and stylistically different works.

The Joffrey Ballet’s latest production is John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men.” It’s a story that ends in tragedy — but the artists hope to highlight something else in their rendition. (WTTW News)

The Joffrey Ballet’s latest production is John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men.” It’s a story that ends in tragedy — but the artists hope to highlight something else in their rendition.

Joffrey Ballet’s “Winning Works” program featured four world premiere pieces created for members of the Joffrey Studio Company and Joffrey Academy. (Credit Todd Rosenberg)

A primary example of the Joffrey’s commitment to “the new” was this weekend’s return of the “Winning Works” program, now in its 12th season, with four performances that served as a showcase of four world premiere pieces created by four different choreographers. 

The Joffrey Ballet ensemble in “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Pure winter magic. The Joffrey Ballet’s altogether unique production of “The Nutcracker,” has never looked more glorious or been danced more ideally.

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.