Jorma Elo, who was born in Finland, trained at the ballet schools of the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki and the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). He has danced with internationally renowned ballet companies such as the Finnish National Ballet and the Cullberg Ballet in Sweden and in 1990 he joined the Nederlands Dans Theater, where he worked with choreographers like Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek, William Forsythe and Paul Lightfoot. Influenced by this artistic collaboration, he turned to choreography as a career.
Nowadays, the Finn is one of the most popular and productive choreographers of the younger generation. After completing his first pieces, Jorma Elo was named, in the New York Times critic Anna Kisselgoff's review of the year 2004, as a "remarkable talent". Since then, he has created numerous ballets for world-famous companies including the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Finnish National Ballet, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Royal Ballet of Flanders and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He has also produced premieres for the San Francisco Ballet, the Norwegian National Ballet, the Göteborg Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, the Nürnberg Ballet, the ballet company of the Vienna State Opera, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Alberta Ballet and the Basel Ballet. Jorma Elo has produced five premieres for the Boston Ballet and in 2005 he was appointed Resident Choreographer of the company.
In 2008 Joma Elo worked with the Stuttgart Ballet for the first time. His energetic, neo-classical choreography Slice to Sharp was part of the mixed repertory evening VARIATIONEN and was a great success for both the audience and the critics.