BOSTON BALLET RESIDENT CHOREOGRAPHER JORMA ELO AWARDED PRESTIGIOUS BENOIS DE LA DANSE PRIZE
FOR BEST CHOREOGRAPHY OF 2010
BOSTON, MA – May 31, 2011 – Boston Ballet Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo won the prestigious Benois de la Danse prize for best choreography of 2010 on Tuesday, May 24 in Moscow, Russia. Elo was nominated for his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, commissioned by Vienna State Opera Ballet, and Slice to Sharp, a new version of the ballet created for the Ballet Company of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre.
“I’m very happy and honored to receive this award” said Elo. “I’m thankful for the companies, New York City Ballet, Stanisklavsky Ballet, and Vienna State Opera, that have given me the opportunity to create these works. I am also grateful for all of the amazing dancers who have given their all to make the best ballets possible and for Nancy Euverink, who collaborated with me immensely on both of these productions.”
“I am extremely happy that our Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo was awarded the 2011 Benois de la Danse,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “Jorma’s understanding of classical ballet and contemporary dance create a unique voice that has played a big part in developing Boston Ballet. I’m pleased to know how well his creations have been received in New York, San Francisco, Houston, Moscow, Vienna and everywhere he goes. Jorma, and his vision, are moving the art form forward.”
The Benois de la Danse awards ceremony gala was held at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Mischa Sosnovski from Vienna State Opera Ballet danced the Puck solo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ashley Bouder and Joaquin De Luz, of New York City Ballet, danced excerpts from Slice to Sharp with dancers of the Ballet Company of Stanislavsky including Anna Khamzina, Natalia Somova, Valeria Mukhanova, Semyon Chudin, Georgi Smilevski, and Sergei Manuylov. Slice to Sharp was originally created for New York City Ballet in 2006.
Elo, who danced with Netherlands Dans Theater for 15 years, became Boston Ballet’s Resident Choreographer in 2005 where he has created seven new works. These include Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plan to B (2004), Carmen (2006), Brake the Eyes (2007) In on Blue (2008) Sacre du Printemps (2009), and Elo Experience (2011). The critically acclaimed Elo Experience was hailed as “boldly [going] where no choreographer has gone before” by The Phoenix.
Elo has also choreographed new works for American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and Finnish National Ballet, among others. In 2005, Elo won the Helsinki International Ballet Competition choreographic prize and he is a recipient of the Prince Charitable Trust Prize and the 2006 Choo-San Goh Choreographic Award. The New York Times has written of Elo, “he knows classical technique and how to use it in new ways, how to transform it. This is not modern dance and ballet: it is modern ballet.”
Elo’s works have been performed by Boston Ballet at engagements including The Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, Ballet Across America in Washington, D.C., Fall for Dance in New York City, The National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada, and most recently on the company’s 2010 tour to Spain. When Boston Ballet performed Elo’s work in Spain, Granada’s IDEAL newspaper wrote, “Boston Ballet showed an indisputable new category and found new expression in the perfect choreography of Jorma Elo.”
The Benois de la Danse, known as the ‘Oscars’ of the dance world, was founded by the International Dance Association, now the International Dance Union, in Moscow in 1992. Yuri Grigorovich, choreographer and President of the Union, is artistic director of the Benois de la Danse and a President of the Jury. The jury is comprised of an international panel of authoritative personalities in the world of dance and includes artistic directors, dancers, and stagers. The Benois de la Danse statuette was created by French sculptor Igor Ustinov. Past award winners have included William Forsythe, Roland Petit, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon.
MORE INFORMATION, RELATED PROGRAMS AND EVENTS:
Boston Ballet’s web series, Faces of Boston Ballet, spent a day in rehearsals with Jorma Elo and Boston Ballet company dancers and artists, as they prepared for Elo Experience.
2010-2011 Season Tickets
Subscriptions and individual tickets are on sale now. Subscriptions and all tickets will be available for sales online 24 hours a day at www.bostonballet.org or by phone at 617.695.6955 or in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9:30am-5pm and on performance days on Sat and Sun, 11am – 4pm. Prices for season ballets start at $25. Tickets to The Nutcracker start at $35. Discounted group tickets (10 or more for season ballets and 20 or more for The Nutcracker) are available by calling the box office at 617.695.6955.
About Boston Ballet
Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and the largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School.
Boston Ballet maintains a 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 comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access and reaches more than 10,000 students ages 2-adult each year through Boston Ballet School classes, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance programs are held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead with additional programs throughout New England, as well as community centers and in Boston Public Schools.