|| The Boston Globe
|| September 8, 2012
|| Karen Campbell
Before getting down to the business of soutenus and jetés in Boston Ballet’s Studio Five, the company’s resident choreographer, Jorma Elo, is talking American appliances. One dancer mentions laundry day, but don’t get Elo started on our inefficient washing machines.
“And I don’t understand these big American vacuums,” the Finn says with a laugh, miming a tussle with an imaginary upright. “They are so heavy. And how do you get under the bed?” He lunges to the floor, comically twisting to demonstrate, and one gets a taste of the man’s gift for spontaneous movement invention — and his sense of humor. Small and wiry, his sharply angled face set off by dark-rimmed glasses, he looks serious, professorial, and tends to speak with a quiet intensity. But his wry quips often leave the dancers in stitches.
The new work Elo is making for Boston Ballet’s subscription season opener Oct. 25-Nov. 4 is on the more dramatic end of the spectrum, however. Elo explains, “I’m trying to create some sort of arc of one man’s life — growing up and opening your eyes to the world, then seeing the world fading away in front of you, and then you fading away.” In addition to the central character, the work features a mother figure, a father figure, a love interest, and a corps of eight.
The as yet unnamed ballet, set to piano and organ pieces by J.S. Bach, will be the centerpiece of the fall program. Unlike the past two seasons, which have opened with big story ballets, the company launches this season with a mixed contemporary program that also includes a revival of William Forsythe’s sleek, enigmatic “The Second Detail,” an edgy, avant-garde ballet for 14 choreographed in 1991 and set to a score by longtime Forsythe collaborator Thom Willems. Leavening the proceedings will be Christopher Bruce’s rollicking, feel-good “Rooster,” fueled by popular songs by the Rolling Stones.