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Boston Ballet Review of Celebrating Jorma Elo (Digital)


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This certainly was a trip down memory lane. Plan to B is iconic Elo, and while it was enjoyable, my favorite iteration of this ballet was performed by Sabi Varga, John Lam, Whitney Jensen, Lia Cirio, Jeffrey Cirio, and Bo Busby. They were, for a long time, the cast to see in the many places this ballet was performed. Their performances were electric. But, I digress. There was much to see here, including Elo's Bach Cello Suites and Close to Chuck, two of my favorites. I hope we get to see Close to Chuck once again at some time in the future. Additionally, a portion of Elo Experience with Larissa Ponomarenko and Jeffrey Cirio brought back amazing memories. Performed in 2011, I remember that they performed every performance of that work. Along with Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, they were sublime. It was evident to me throughout that there were dancers who truly embodied Elo's work - James Whiteside, Sabi Varga, John Lam, Kathleen Breen-Combes, Whitney Jensen, and Jeffrey and Lia Cirio. I don't know if the current crop of dancers can match them. It will be interesting to see if they develop the "quirks" necessary for his work. The World Premiere was somewhat confusing. It appears to be an extension of the couple (Cirio and Ponomarenko) in Elo Experience, but the attempt to make the work an artistic film left me feeling confused. It will be hard to match the innocence of Cirio (who was probably all of 18 or 19 at the time) and the inestimable Ponomarenko in that work. All in all, I really enjoyed this program which contained much more dancing than previous digital performances.  It made me long to be back in the theatre again. Congratulations to Jorma Elo and Boston Ballet for 15 years of collaboration! 

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