He Was The Youngest Artistic Director Of The Paris Opera Ballet, But His Career There Lasted Only 1 1/2 Years

June 14, 2017 — Benjamin Millepied is one of the most acclaimed choreographers and dancers alive. He studied at the famed School of American Ballet; he was mentored by legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins. He has choreographed for the City Ballet, the ABT, the Metropolitan Opera, among many others. He was given a commission to from the L.A. Dance Project; he was choreographer-in-residence at the Baryshnikov arts Center.

His choreography for Darren Aronofsky’s movie Black Swan was highly praised; it was during the filming of the movie that he met Natalie Portman, whom he later married.

When Millepied joined the Paris Opera Ballet in 2014 as the artistic director, the ballet world was thrilled. Millepied is known to work with contemporary composers and artists; it was considered a very forward-thinking appointment. His work is often untraditional.

The Paris Opera Ballet (Opéra National de Parisis the oldest national ballet company in the world and can trace its origins back to 1673. It is an institution in every sense of the word — many of the great ballet companies of the world have ties to it.

In the world of the ballet, it is legendary. Its home, in the Palais Garnier, is one of the most acclaimed and beautiful theaters in the world, located on La Place de L’Opera, one of Paris’ most magnificent corners.

There was much anticipation when Millepied set out to choreograph his first work for the company as director. 

Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai filmed the creation of the ballet, Reset (Relève). The film shows how the creation of beauty can be as breathtaking as the finished product. Watch the trailer here.

With all of its history and reputation for beauty behind it, it is not surprising that change at the Paris Opera Ballet can be glacially slow. Millepied quit the post in 2016, surprising the ballet world. He would later say that he realized he was the wrong man for the job.

Stream Reset on Amazon Video.

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