Born in France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother, a former modern dancer. From the age of thirteen to the age of sixteen he attended the Conservatoire National de Lyon, studying classical ballet with Michel Rahn. In the summer of 1992, Mr. Millepied came to New York City to attend the 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. In the 1994 SAB Spring Workshop, Mr. 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, Mr. 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 at NYCB, where he remained until his retirement as a dancer in 2011.
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.
Mr. Millepied has also been recognized as a choreographer, both during and after his dance career. In 2004 and 2005, Mr. 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 2007, Mr. 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.
Mr. Millepied’s choreography is performed regularly by notable dance companies around the world such as the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Mariinsky Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet de Geneve, the Lyon Opera Ballet, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and the Dutch National Ballet. His collaborators include composers and artists such as Nico Muhly, David Lang, Philip Glass, Christopher Wool, Barbara Kruger, Paul Cox, Rodarte, Thierry Escaich, Daniel Ott, Roderick Murray, and Santiago Calatrava.
Mr. Millepied also works in film. In 2010, Mr. Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. Mr. Millepied is currently working on a new 3-D animated feature about young students at the Paris Opera Ballet School, produced by Quad Films. Mr. Millepied has directed and produced various short films including music videos for the band Io Echo and dance videos featuring L’il Buck.
Mr. Millepied was the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s fragrance “l’homme libre” from 2011 to 2013.
In 2012, after retiring from the New York City Ballet, Mr. Millepied moved to Los Angeles, where he conceived of and founded the new dance company LA Dance Project. LA Dance Project’s mission is to present new dance works and revive seminal and historical collaborations from influential dance makers.
In the fall of 2012, and in furtherance of LA Dance Project’s mission, the company performed Moving Parts, a collaboration between Mr. Millepied, composer Nico Muhly, and artist Christopher Wool, during the company’s inaugural performances at the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In May 2013, LA Dance Project presented Reflections, a new work which was the result of a collaboration between Mr. Millepied, composer David Lang, artist Barbara Kruger, and which was created with the support of the historic jewelry house Van Cleef and Arpels.
In January 2013 the Paris Opera Ballet announced Mr. Millepied’s appointment as its new Director, a role he will assume in the fall of 2014. Mr. Millepied will continue his commitment to and involvement with the LA Dance Project even after he assumes his new role in Paris.
“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)