Born in Bordeaux France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother Catherine, a former modern dancer. From the age of thirteen to sixteen he attended the Conservatoire National de Lyon, studying classical ballet under Michel Rahn. In the summer of 1992, Benjamin 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. For the 1994 SAB Spring Workshop, Benjamin originated a principal role in Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions, set to music by J.S Bach. That same year, he was awarded the prestigious “Prix de Lausanne.” In his last year at SAB, Benjamin received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and was invited to become a member of New York City Ballet. By early 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer. In 2004 and 2005, Benjamin directed the Morriss 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, Benjamin received the United States Artists Wynn Fellowship. In 2010, Mr. Millepied was made Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.
As a dancer with the New York City Ballet, Mr. Millepied’s repertoire included featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Ballo Della Regina, Coppélia, “Divertimento” from Le Baiser De La Fée, The Nutcracker, Harlequinade, Rubies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Raymonda Variations, La Source, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C, Tarantella, Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux, Theme and Variations, Valse-Fantasie. Mr. Millepied also danced numerous featured roles in Jerome Robbins’ works, including 2 & 3 Part Inventions, Dances at a Gathering, Fancy Free, A Suite of Dances, In The Night, The Four Seasons, Dybbuk, Interplay, Piano Pieces and West Side Story Suite. Mr. Millepied repertoire also included featured roles in Susan Stroman’s Double Feature, Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance) and Mercurial Manoeuvres, and Peter Martins’ Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Additionally, Mr. Millepied originated roles in many works, including: Jerome Robbins’ Brandenburg, Les Noces (revival), and Dybbuk (revival); Peter Martins’ Hallelujah Junction; Angelin Preljocaj’s La Stravaganza; Mauro Bigonzetti’s Vespro and In Vento; and Alexei Ratmanski’s Concerto DSCH. In 1999 and 2002 he appeared in featured roles with the New York City Ballet for the nationally televised Live From Lincoln Center broadcast. Mr. Millepied retired from the New York City Ballet in 2011.
In 2010, Mr. Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky’s award-winning feature film Black Swan. That year, Benjamin also directed his first short film featuring Lea Seydoux and a score by Angelo Badalamenti. In 2011, Millepied directed 5 short films set to new violin works by Phillip Glass, commissioned by Timothy Fain for a multi-media performance entitled Portals. Benjamin is now directing on a regular basis.
In 2012, Mr. Millepied announced the creation of LA Dance Project, a new dance company. L.A. Dance Project’s inaugural performances, commissioned by The Music Center, will take place in September of 2012 at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and feature a new work choreographed by Mr. Millepied with a commissioned score by Nico Muhly, set design by artist Christopher Wool, and costumes by Rodarte. L.A. Dance Project will tour the United States and internationally into 2013.
Mr. Millepied is also the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s new fragrance for men, “L’Homme Libre”.
“Passages” for the Conservatoire National de Lyon (2001),
“Triple Duet” for Danses Concertantes performed at Sadler’s Wells, London (2002)
“Circular Motion” also for Danses Concertantes, London (2004)
“Chaconne”, a dance film, co-directed by film-maker Olivier Simola (2003)
“On The Other Side” for Danses Concertantes performed at Maison de la Danse, Lyon (2004)
“Double Aria” danced by the New York City Ballet, with the original score of Daniel Ott (2005)
“28 Variations of an Theme By Paganini” for the School of American Ballet (2005)
an original full-length “Casse-Noisette” for the Grand Théâtre de Genève with set designs and costumes by artist Paul Cox (2005)
“Closer” as part of Benjamin Millepied and Company season at the Joyce Theater New York, with live accompaniment by Philip Glass (2006)
“Capriccio” for American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company (2006)
“Years Later”, a solo work for Mikhail Baryshnikov in collaboration with Mr. Simola (2006)
“Amoveo” for the Paris Opera Ballet with set design by Paul Cox and costumes by Marc Jacobs (2006)
“From Here On Out “ for American Ballet Theatre, original score by Nico Muhly (2007)
“Petrouchka” for the Ballet de Genève with set design and costumes by Paul Cox (2007)
“Triade” for the Paris Opera Ballet with an original score by Nico Muhly (2008)
“3 Movements” for Pacific Northwest Ballet (2008); “Without” for Danses Concertantes (2008)
“Quasi Una Fantasia” for the New York City Ballet (2009)
“Everything doesn’t happen at once” for American Ballet theatre (2009)
“Sarabande” for Danses Concertantes, premiered in Lyon (2009)
“Why Am I Not Where You Are” with a commissioned score by Thierry Escaich and scenery by Santiago Calatrava, New York City Ballet (2010)
“Plainspoken” with a commissioned score by David Lang, New York City Ballet (2010)
“One thing leads to another” with a commissioned score by Nico Muhly, costumes by Rodarte, Het National Ballet (2010);
“The Bartered Bride” for the Metropolitan Opera (2011)
“This part in Darkness” for the Pennsylvania Ballet (2011)
“Troika” for the American Ballet Theatre (2011)
“Without” for the Ballet of the Mariinsky (2011)
“Les Sylphides and Spectre de la rose” for Ballet de Geneve (2011)
“Khovanschina” for the Metropolitan Opera (2012)
“Two Hearts” for the New York City Ballet (2012)