Benjamin Millepied, choreographer

One could say that Benjamin Millepied, the recently retired principal dancer with New York City Ballet, has moved to Los Angeles simply to be with his love, actress Natalie Portman. The protégé of Jerome Robbins could have led an itinerant existence, making dances for the likes of Paris Opera Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Instead, this popular and admired choreographer (including "Black Swan") accepted a high-profile commission from the Music Center to start L.A. Dance Project, a seven-dancer (counting Millepied) collective also comprising artists, composers and a producer. The debut is set for Sept. 22 and 23 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.<br>
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It's too soon to tell how prominent a role Millepied and L.A. Dance Project will play in the local scene. Millepied held dancer auditions in November but has not yet hired anyone. In the meantime, audiences here will get their first glimpse of Millepied's work when Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève performs his works at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in mid-April.<br>
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--Laura Bleiberg
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( Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times )

One could say that Benjamin Millepied, the recently retired principal dancer with New York City Ballet, has moved to Los Angeles simply to be with his love, actress Natalie Portman. The protégé of Jerome Robbins could have led an itinerant existence, making dances for the likes of Paris Opera Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Instead, this popular and admired choreographer (including "Black Swan") accepted a high-profile commission from the Music Center to start L.A. Dance Project, a seven-dancer (counting Millepied) collective also comprising artists, composers and a producer. The debut is set for Sept. 22 and 23 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

It's too soon to tell how prominent a role Millepied and L.A. Dance Project will play in the local scene. Millepied held dancer auditions in November but has not yet hired anyone. In the meantime, audiences here will get their first glimpse of Millepied's work when Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève performs his works at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in mid-April.

--Laura Bleiberg

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