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Jorma 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. Throughout his career as a dancer Elo worked closely with numerous master choreographers, notably Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek, Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe and Paul Lightfoot. These influences led Elo to a choreographic career of his own.
Elo has choreographed for Basel Ballet, Ballet Debrezen (Hungary), Alberta Ballet (Blank
Snow and L’Apres Midi d’un Faune/Spectre de la Rose, Norwegian National Ballet (Cut to Drive), Finnish National Ballet (Happy is Happy, Twisted Shadow, Two Fast, Offcore), Stockholm 59° North (in my DREAM team), and Netherlands Dance Theatre 1 (1st Flash and Plan to A). For Boston Ballet, Elo has created three world premieres: Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plan to B (2004) and Carmen (2006). He is also a skilled designer of costumes, lighting and video effects for his ballets.
Elo was awarded the choreographic prize at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition.
Elo was named Resident Choreographer of Boston Ballet in 2005, was singled out as a “talent to follow” by Anna Kisselgoff in her 2004 Year in Review for The New York Times. During the 2005-06 season Elo choreographed Pointeoff for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Carmen for Boston Ballet, and Slice to Sharp for New York City Ballet. During the 2006-07 season, Elo will create new works for Boston Ballet, BalletX in Pennsylvania, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Royal Danish Ballet, State Theatre Nuremberg (Germany), and Norwegian National Ballet. In addition, Cincinnati Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Finnish National Ballet will stage existing works.
C. to C. (Close to Chuck) is Elo’s second work for American Ballet Theatre since Glow – Stop.