Merce Cunningham, William Forsythe, Benjamin Millepied
Benjamin Millepied Born in Bordeaux, France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother Catherine, a former modern dancer. After studying classical ballet in France under Michel Rahn at the Conservatoire National de Lyon, Millepied came to New York City to study at the School of American Ballet in 1992. While at SAB, Millepied received numerous prestigious awards, including the French Ministry of Culture's "Bourse Lavoisier," the "Prix de Lausanne," and the "Award for Outstanding Promise."
In 1995, Millepied joined the New York City Ballet, where he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer by 2001. During his time at NYCB, Millepied danced lead roles in ballets by notable choreographers including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins. He also originated roles in new works by Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Angelin Preljocaj, Mauro Bignozetti, Alexei Ratmanski and Christopher Wheeldon. In 1999 and 2002, he appeared in featured roles with the NYCB for the nationally televised Live from Lincoln Center broadcast. Millepied retired from NYCB in 2011.
In addition to being a celebrated dancer, Millepied is also a renowned choreographer who has created works for some of the world's most well-known dance companies and artists, including the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Maryinsky Ballet, Geneva Opera Ballet, the Lyon Opera Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. Millepied's works are regularly performed by dance companies around the world.
In 2010 Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky's award-winning feature film BLACK SWAN. The same year, he directed his first short film. In 2011, Millepied directed five short films for a multi-media performance entitled Portals, and he is now directing on a regular basis.
In 2011, he became the face of Yves Saint Laurent's new fragrance L'Homme Libre.
In 2012, Millepied announced the creation of L.A. Dance Project, his new dance company. The company's inaugural performances were commissioned by Glorya Kaufman presents Dance at the Music Center, and took place Sept. 22 & 23, 2012 at the Music Center's Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. L.A. Dance Project will tour the United States and internationally into 2013.
Photo Credit: James White
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