BENJAMIN MILLEPIED RETIRES AS PRINCIPAL DANCER AFTER 16 YEARS WITH NEW YORK CITY BALLET.
New York City Ballet announced today that Principal Dancer Benjamin Millepied has retired from dancing after a 16-year career at NYCB during which he danced featured roles in a vast array of works from the Company’s unparalleled repertory.
Born in Bordeaux France, Millepied began studying ballet at the age of eight with his mother, and came to New York in 1992 to study at the summer course of the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet. He returned to SAB to study full-time in the fall of 1993, and for the SAB Workshop performances in the spring of 1994 he originated a role in Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions, one of the last works created by the choreographer, who became one of Millepied’s early mentors.
In 1994 Millepied was also awarded the “Prix de Lausanne,” and in 1995 he received SAB’s Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and was invited to become a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet. Millepied was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1998 and to principal dancer in the spring of 2002.
In addition to dancing, Millepied has also choreographed ballets for numerous companies around the world, including three works for NYCB – Quasi Una Fantasia (2009), Why am I not where you are? (2010), and Plainspoken (2010). For NYCB’s 2012 Spring Season, Millepied will create a world premiere ballet to a commissioned score by Nico Muhly, a frequent collaborator, which will premiere at the Company’s Spring Gala performance on May 10, 2012.
"Dancing with the New York City Ballet was a dream come true,” said Millepied. “There, I had the chance to perform one extraordinary ballet after the other, alongside inspiring dancers, for a very generous and intelligent audience. I am particularly thankful to Peter Martins for first believing in me as a dancer, and then as a choreographer, allowing me to run two careers simultaneously over the past six years.”
During his career at NYCB, Millepied has originated roles in ballets choreographed by Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Helgi Tomasson, Mauro Bigonzetti, Boris Eifman, and Angelin Preljocaj, among others. He has also danced featured roles in numerous ballets including Balanchine’s Agon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), “Rubies” from Jewels, and Symphony in C, Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, Dybbuk, Fancy Free, and West Side Story Suite and Martins’ Fearful Symmetries, Jeu de Cartes, and Swan Lake.
In addition to the three ballets created for NYCB, Millepied has also choreographed works for American Ballet Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera Ballet, Maryinsky Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Danses Concertantes, Het Nationale Ballet, Grande Theatre de Geneve, and Ballet de Genève, among others. He has also collaborated with a range of composers including Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, David Lang, Daniel Ott, and Thierry Escaich, as well as designers such as Rodarte, Paul Cox, Marc Jacobs and Santiago Calatrava. In addition, in 2010, Millepied choreographed and appeared in Darren Aronofsky’s feature film Black Swan.
Millepied also directed the Morriss Center Dance Workshop in Bridgehampton, New York in 2004 and 2005. From 2006 to 2007, he was choreographer-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and in 2007 he 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.
Benjamin Millepied – Photo dailymail.co.uk
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