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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Benjamin Millepied new director of Paris Opera Ballet

Benjamin Millepied will take over from Brigitte Lefevre as Director of the Paris Opera Ballet effective October 2014. Millepied danced for many years with New York City Ballet and last year created a small troupe called the LA Dance Project. For the general public he is best known for having choreographed sequences for the movie Black Swan and married its star, Natalie Portman, with whom he has a son.

" The core of his artistic vision, he said, would be a strong focus on contemporary ballet repertory.
“I have great admiration for the way Brigitte has brought choreographers like Jérôme Bel and Pina Bausch into the repertory,” he said. “But my interest is in developing the art and the craft of ballet, which is so rich and interesting. This is a great classical company, and I want it to be an environment for the evolution and knowledge of the ballet idiom. I want to develop a new identity, really challenge the dancers, make them dance ballets that are not just the classics.”"
More details here:

From Laura Cappelle's twitter feed


Season 2014-15 will be programmed by Mme Lefèvre to permit a transition.  (NB: the handover is after next season, in September 2014)

There's apparently no time limit on his contract.  Surprising?

He says Nureyev is part of POB's history but, in time, he might want to change some things.

He's not bringing any new staff with him.

Stephane Lissner, soon to take over as General Director at The Opera, said he met 9 candidates, in France and abroad.

He (Millepied) wants to do Opera /Ballet collaborations.

He wants POB to tour more and to open the company to his generation of classical choreographers.  And his first new piece next season will be a Daphnis and Chloe.

He wants the co to tour around France, and to have regular choreographic workshops for the dancers, with training for them. 
Millepied will do introductions to each program himself for the audience, like it's done in the US.

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