Jorma Elo

(b. 1961)

Quick Reference

(b Helsinki, 30 Aug. 1961)

Finnish dancer, choreographer, and designer. He studied modern dance before embarking on formal ballet training at the Finnish National Ballet School, with a subsequent year at the Vaganova Academy in 1979. In 1978 he graduated into the Finnish National Ballet, moving to the Cullberg Ballet in 1984 and to Nederlands Dans Theater in 1990. Here he choreographed his first ballets for workshops and went on to make several works for the company including Plan to A (mus. Biber, 2004). His style is based in the classical vocabulary but also reflects the wide repertory he performed as a dancer, displaying a facility for combining the influences of Kylián, Forsythe, Ek, and others to surprising and virtuoso effect. In 2005 he was appointed resident choreographer for Boston Ballet, having already created two works for that company, Sharp Side of Dark (mus. Bach, 2002) and Plan to B (mus. Biber, 2004). At Boston he has since gone on to create Carmen (mus. Bizet-Shchedrin, 2006), Brake the Eyes (mus. Mozart and various, 2007) among others. A prolific choreographer, Elo has additionally made works for many other companies including Alberta Ballet, L'Aprés-midi d'un faune (mus. Debussy) and Spectre de la Rose (mus. Weber) both 2002; Finnish National Ballet, Twisted Shadow (mus. Sibelius, 2002) among others; American Ballet Theatre, Glow – Stop (mus. Mozart and Glass, 2006) and C. to C. (mus. Glass, 2007); Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, From All Sides (mus. Turnage, 2007); Norwegian National Ballet, Death and the Maiden (mus. Schubert, 2008); Royal Danish Ballet, Lost on SLOW (mus. Vivaldi, 2008); San Francisco Ballet, Double Evil (mus. Glass and Martinov, 2008); New York City Ballet, Slice to Sharp (mus. Biber and Vivaldi, 2009).

He additionally designs the costumes, lighting, and video effects for his ballets.

Subjects: Dance.

Reference entries