The last time that the New York City Ballet performed in Chicago, founder George Ballanchine was still alive, and since the legendary choreographer died in 1983, that ought to give you some idea of what a rare treat it is to have the company that he founded come to the area to perform his works and allow us to savor his unique dance creations. To say that Ballanchine revolutionized dance is virtually to trivialize what he did by combining Russian discipline with American freedom of movement: he created the template of modern dance as we know it. Accompanied by its own orchestra, the New York City Ballet will be performing three programs: “Portrait of Ballanchine” on Thursday afternoon and Friday evening, “Masterworks” on Wednesday and Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon and “Gala” on Saturday evening that includes works created by the company since 1990 that reflect his legacy. (Dennis Polkow)
Thu-Sat 7:30pm, Thu & Sun/1:30pm, Sun/7pm. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, (312)334-7777. $65-$112.