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Benjamin Millepied to direct Paris Opéra Ballet

Posted on January 25, 2013


benjaminmillepiedChoreographer Benjamin Millepied will succeed Brigitte Lefèvre as director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, it has been announced. He will take up the position from October 15, 2014.


Millepied, born in Bordeaux in 1977, has spent much of his career in the US, where he danced for New York City Ballet from 1995 until 2011, becoming a principal dancer in 2002. He made his first ballet, Passages, for students of the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse in Lyon. Since then, he has made works for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dutch National Ballet, the Maryinsky Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet and others. In 2010, he choreographed the dances for the film Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, who won an Oscar for her performance. He and Portman later married, and have a son.


In 2011, Millepied founded the company LA Dance Project, a collective that aims to present dance in many forms. The company is currently on tour, and will appear in Paris in May 2013.


Picture: Benjamin Millepied at the Opéra Garnier. Photograph: Julien Benhamou.


Millepied has said that he would like the company to do more collaborations with the opera, more touring and more work with classical choreographers of his own generation. He plans to create a new production of Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloë for 2014.

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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