Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announced today that Boston Ballet will re-sign its contract with its highly-sought-after resident choreographer Jorma Elo. Elo will remain with the Company in his current role through August 2014. Elo has served as Boston Ballet’s resident choreographer since September 2004, and his current contract was set to expire in August 2009. Under the extension, Elo will create at least three new works over the five-year period between 2009 and 2014. Additionally, he will work with Boston Ballet II and Boston Ballet School. While Elo’s work is in high demand across the globe and he is frequently commissioned by the world’s elite dance companies, his position as resident choreographer is exclusive to Boston Ballet.
“Jorma Elo is creating some of the most exciting, innovative, contemporary ballet and we feel very fortunate to have him as part of our company since 2004,” said Nissinen. “Not only do I believe it is important to foster the future growth of the art form, but it is an important educational and professional experience for our dancers to work closely with new choreographers and create new works.”
Elo recently premiered “In on Blue” as a part of Boston Ballet’s Next Generation program this past March. Elo’s first piece commissioned by Boston Ballet was “Sharp Side of Dark” in 2002, which was followed by the blockbuster hit “Plan to B.” in 2004. Elo created a new “Carmen” for the company in 2006. “Brake the Eyes” was commissioned in 2006 and premiered at Boston Ballet in 2007 to audience and critical acclaim. “Brake The Eyes” was called “the prize/surprise of the evening” by Iris Fanger in Dance Magazine. The piece was later performed in fall 2007 as a part of the New York City Fall for Dance Festival. Additionally, Elo premiered his first work for San Francisco Ballet, “Double Evil,” as part of San Francisco Ballet’s 75th Anniversary season New Works Festival.
Last weekend, the company performed Elo’s “Brake The Eyes” as well as excerpts from Nissinen’s production of “Swan Lake” and Twyla Tharp’s “In The Upper Room” as part of the acclaimed Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina. Critic Eliza Ingle wrote in the The Post and Courier that, “...Boston Ballet proved it was capable of doing everything very well…” and “…the company was radiant in its execution…”
Boston Ballet will perform Elo’s “Brake The Eyes” as part of the Ballet Across America series at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on June 13 and 15.
Elo was born in Finland and trained with the Finnish National Ballet School and the Kirov Ballet School in Leningrad. Prior to joining Netherlands Dance Theater in 1990, he danced with Finnish National Ballet from 1978 through 1984 and with Cullberg Ballet from 1984 through 1990. In addition to his work with Boston Ballet, Elo has created new works for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2005, he received the choreographic prize at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition.
About Boston BalletFounded in 1963, Boston Ballet is one of the leading dance companies in North America. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers.
Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is made up of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with Boston Ballet and as an independent group, presenting lecture-demonstrations and unique programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. The Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education is the largest ballet school in North America. In service of its mission to bring the highest quality arts education to all, it reaches and instructs more than 5,000 students of all ages each year through Boston Ballet School, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance education programs are held at four major ballet studio locations, in community centers, and throughout the Boston Public Schools.