Born in Bordeaux, France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother Catherine, a former modern dancer. After studying classical ballet in France under Michel Rahn at the Conservatoire National de Lyon, Benjamin came to New York City to study at the School of American Ballet in 1992. While at SAB, Benjamin was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the French Ministry of Culture’s “Bourse Lavoisier”, the “Prix de Lausanne”, and the Mae L. Wien “Award for Outstanding Promise”.
In 1995, Mr. Millepied joined the New York City Ballet, where he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer by 2001. During his career at NYCB, Mr. Millepied danced lead roles in ballets by notable choreographers including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins. Mr. Millepied also originated roles in new works by Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Angelin Preljocaj, Mauro Bignozetti, Alexei Ratmanski, and Christopher Wheeldon. In 1999 and 2002 he appeared in featured roles with the NYCB for the nationally televised Live From Lincoln Center broadcast. Mr. Millepied retired from NYCB in 2011.
In addition to being a celebrated dancer, Mr. Millepied is also a renowned choreographer who has created works for some of the world’s most well-known dance companies and artists, including the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Mariinsky Ballet, Geneva Opera Ballet, the Lyon Opera Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet. Mr. Millepied’s works are regularly performed by dance companies around the world.
In 2010, Benjamin became a Chevalier in France’s prestigious “Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”.
In 2010, Mr. Millepied also choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky’s award-winning feature film Black Swan. The same year, he directed his first short film. In 2011, Mr. Millepied directed 5 short films for a multi-media performance entitled Portals. Benjamin is now directing on a regular basis.
In 2011, Mr. Millepied became the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s new fragrance “L’Homme Libre”.
In 2012, Mr. Millepied announced the creation of L.A. Dance Project, his new dance company. L.A. Dance Project’s inaugural performances, commissioned by The Music Center, feature a new work choreographed by Mr. Millepied with music 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.