Renae Williams Niles, Director of Programming for The Music Center, says, "We are extremely honored to work with Benjamin on his first Los Angeles based project. Benjamin has established himself as one of the world's most commissioned choreographers. We feel Millepied's commitment to create new work right here and bring together local and internationally renowned artists is worthy of support. For The Music Center to play this significant national and international role allows us to achieve our goals of leadership in a phenomenally influential way."
Born in Bordeaux, France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother Catherine Millepied, a former modern dancer. From the age of thirteen to the age of sixteen he attended the Conservatoire National de Lyon, studying classical ballet under Michel Rahn. In the summer of 1992, Millepied made his first appearance in New York City for a summer program at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. The following year, he became a full-time student at the school, having received the "Bourse Lavoisier," a scholarship award from the French Ministry of Culture. In the 1994 School of American Ballet Spring Workshop, Millepied originated a principal role in Jerome Robbins' 2 & 3 Part Inventions, set to music by J.S Bach. He was awarded the "Prix de Lausanne" the same year. In his last year at SAB, Millepied received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and was invited to become a member of New York City Ballet.
In the spring of 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer. In 2004 and 2005, Millepied directed the Morris Center Dance Workshop in Bridgehampton, New York. From 2006 to 2007, he was choreographer-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. In 2007, Millepied received the United States Artists Wynn Fellowship. In 2010, he was made Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2010, Benjamin choreographed the feature film "BLACK SWAN". Benjamin retired from New York City Ballet in 2011, and in 2012, he formed a new company based in Los Angeles, L.A Dance Project. Benjamin is currently the face of Yves Saint Laurent's fragrance "l'homme libre".
Benjamin's ballets are danced by companies such as, New York City Ballet, The Paris Opera, The Maryiinsky, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet de Geneve, Ballet de Lyon, Dutch National Ballet. His collaborators include artists and composers such as Nico Muhly, David Lang, Philip Glass, Paul Cox, Rodarte, Thierry Escaich, Daniel Ott, RodeRick Murray, Santiago Calatrava. Benjamin's first staging of a musical, "Hands on a Hardbody" will open on Broadway in New York in 2013.
The Music Center A leader at the cultural heart of Los Angeles County, The Music Center brings to life one of the world's premier arts destinations by creating opportunities for arts participation, enabling compelling programming and providing first-class venues and services. The Music Center is one of the largest and most highly regarded performing arts centers in the country, creating a cultural hub that is central to L.A.'s status as "the creative capital" of the world. Celebrated for its illustrious dance programming Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center and home to four world-class resident companies– LA Phil, Centre Theatre Group, LA Opera and Los Angeles Master Chorale – The Music Center is the place to experience the most innovative and critically-acclaimed performing arts in the nation.
In its effort to extend the reach and accessibility of the performing arts, the Music Center is a national model for experiences in which people participate directly through its Active Arts® at The Music Center. As well, The Music Center presents special productions, events and festivals for children and families, including World City at The Music Center. Each year, over one million audience members delight in the excitement of live performances on The Music Center's stages and enjoy free community arts events all year long across its outdoor campus.
The Music Center is also on the forefront of arts education in Los Angeles, providing arts resources to students and teachers in schools and community centers throughout the region. Approximately 500 full-time, seasonal and part-time staff members are employees of The Center and contribute to its operation and success.
The Music Center was developed as an unprecedented public-private partnership with Los Angeles County. Through the support of the Board of Supervisors, the County of Los Angeles plays an invaluable role in the successful operation of The Music Center. This relationship has cemented the importance of the arts to the cultural fabric of Los Angeles.