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Boston Ballet re-signs Jorma Elo as choreographer

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From the company:


Elo’s Contract Extended Through August 2014

BOSTON, MA – June 6, 2008 – 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 Ballet

Founded 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.

Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:

State Street Corporation, 2008 Sponsor, The Nutcracker

Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation/Linda S. Waintrup, Trustee

Massachusetts Cultural Council

National Endowment for the Arts

Boston Organ & Piano, Official Piano Supplier of Boston Ballet

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"Re-sign" is also used in the entertainment field.

NOTE TO MODERATOR: Possibly OT below, so move to the general BB forum if necessary....

Every time I hear BB tout "the largest ballet school in N.America..." and all the touring to bring BB's artistry/technique to the world, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I don't think they have ever toured/performed/or even offered a SI/workshop in western Massachusetts (and I do NOT mean Jacob's Pillow) since the late 1970's!!!

And wouldn't it be nice if they had a branch outlet of their school (Springfield, Northampton, vicinity?--Berkshires have access to Albany) so W.Mass dancers wouldn't have to travel 2+hrs EACH WAY everyday, or spend $$$ to live in Boston, just to progress on a professional level. Newton is NOT, NO, NEVER WILL BE western Mass. not when it's barely 5miles from the center of Boston, accessible on the T, and within 128's ring--another reason I laugh/cry at BB's "west" designation of that site. And FYI: Worcester is in CENTRAL Mass., within the 495 ring, and still an HOUR or more away from the other half of the state.

So..All kudos to ABT2 for coming to Mt.Holyoke last year. ABT's dancers/AD etc. drove 3hrs to come, and our own BB couldn't be bothered last year, this year, or ever. And such matters do influence whom I choose to support each year.

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I sympathize with having to make the long trip. I went to Manhattan School of Music prep with a cellist who traveled in from Pennsylvania. I woke up at 6 to get there from Long Island. If you want to go to these types of places, you sometimes have to make the sacrifice.

On Elo - I agree with Natalia (on the Ballet America performance thread). I've seen Brake the Eyes, the piece he did for ABT and the one for NYCB. Hated the first two, didn't mind the last. His pieces just seem to be a stream of consciousness run of steps with no thought to form. The pieces just go on and on and say nothing.

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