Benjamin Millepied is a Choreographer, Filmmaker and former Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. Mr. Millepied was born in Bordeaux, France. His father was a decathlete and his mother was a professional dancer. Until the age of five Mr. Millepied lived in Senegal where he discovered his interest in dance. At the age of eleven he began his ballet training with Vladimir Skouratoff at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. Mr. Millepied attended the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon where he studied with Marie-France Dieulevin and Michel Rahn. Later he moved to New York City to attend the School of American Ballet to study with Stanley Williams and Adam Luders. While attending the school, Mr. Millepied took part in the creation of a new ballet by Jerome Robbins titled 2 and 3 part inventions. In 1995, Mr. Millepied was invited to join the New York City Ballet. He became a principal dancer with the company in 2001. During his time with New York City Ballet, he performed a vast repertoire of works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins and originated roles in ballets by Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Mauro Bigonzetti, Angelin Preljocaj, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins, among others.
While he was in NYCB, Mr. Millepied began making choreographies. In 2002 he founded Danses Concertantes, a pick-up troupe in which he performed for over eight years. From 2006 to 2007 Mr. Millepied served as Choreographer-in-Residence at The Baryshnikov Arts Center during which time he created the solo Years Later for Mikhail Baryshnikov. Millepied’s choreography has entered the repertories of major dance companies worldwide, including New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Berlin Staatsoper, Mariinsky Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Lyon Opera Ballet, among others. In 2010, Millepied’s choreography was featured in Darren Aronofsky’s award-winning film Black Swan, in which he also starred.
In 2012 Mr. Millepied moved to Los Angeles and founded his company L.A. Dance Project (LADP) with Charles Fabius. LADP has given hundreds of performances at prestigious venues around the world, as well as site-specific performances in non-traditional venues. Mr. Millepied has overseen the creation of new works with artistic collaborators such as Mark Bradford, Christopher Wool, Barbara Kruger, Liam Gillick, Rodarte, and Nico Muhly. Since 2017, LADP has been a resident of the LUMA Foundation in Arles, France. In 2018, Mr. Millepied opened 2245, a new home for artists to create and perform in Los Angeles. This fall at 2245, LADP will present a Fall Festival of nine new collaborative works commissioned by Millepied for LADP.
In January 2013, the Paris Opera Ballet appointed Millepied as its Director. While at the helm of the Paris Opera, Mr. Millepied created the Dance Medicine Program and launched a Digital Stage Platform. He commissioned new works by William Forsythe, Jerome Bel, Wayne McGregor, Justin Peck, Crystal Pite and Tino Sehgal. He revived works by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Maguy Marin, and invited the Batsheva Dance Company to perform for the first time at the Opera. Mr. Millepied resigned in 2016 to focus on the development of LADP and pursue his own work as a Choreographer and Filmmaker.
A film about Millepied’s tenure at the Paris Opera titled Reset documents the impact of his contributions there. Mr Millepied’s choreography was recently featured in the final scenes of Vox Lux, a film by Brady Corbit. Millepied has directed numerous short dance films and is currently working on his feature directorial debut, a musical adaptation of Carmen to be released in 2020.
Mr. Millepied is a recipient of the prestigious Bourse Lavoisier Scholarship from the French government, a winner of the Prix de Lausanne, a recipient of SAB’s Mae. L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise, and a United States Artists Wynn Fellow in Dance. In 2010 he was made a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.