We reported back then in 2013 that Benjamin Millepied was hired to be the director of the Paris Opera Ballet, a position that sounded very exciting for him back then and for his wife-actress, Natalie Portman. Like all relationships, Benjamin grew tired and wanted out of it in just a year of him being there. Rumour has it that the people at the Paris Opera Ballet didn’t quite think that Benjamin was up to the task of both handling the institution and directing dance pieces. To be fair, we all think they hired Benjamin because he’s the husband of Natalie Portman; it’s that obvious! Clearly, the people over at the Paris Opera Ballet thought that in this hard economy Benjamin will be bringing in attention, which would make people want to donate or invest in their services more. In fact, Benjamin did make a lot of people donate to the institution. During its opening night, which was pretty much celebrity-filled, Benjamin managed to raise 1 million euros. Apparently, he raised more from private and corporate donors.
A Fast and Furious Rise to Fame
In recent times, Benjamin Millepied‘s rise to fame has been quite unique. All he did was choreograph the ballet in ‘Black Swan’, which, in turn, brought him to the film’s lead actress, Natalie Portman. Just before its release, Natalie got pregnant and Benjamin proposed. He was seen at all the award shows supporting Natalie, where she was awarded graciously for the ballet dance moves that a body double did. Benjamin took full advantage of all the lights shining on him and got involved in a lot of things. Due to his popularity, he was invited to choreograph ballet performances all around the world as people would most likely pay money to see someone famous choreograph something. The news of him being hired as director of the Paris Opera Ballet came in 2013, which we are sure was a big deal for him as Benjamin truly knows the meaning of this institution as he’s from France himself and his own mother was a ballerina.
Why Benjamin is Leaving Paris Opera Ballet
According to interviews that Benjamin gave during his time as the director of dance, he mentioned how he did not approve of the rigid hierarchical system of grading and promotion that were taking place at the Paris Opera Ballet. Coming from the U.S. school of ballet, Benjamin stressed that the Paris Opera Ballet should be more racially diverse. Benjamin also mentioned that he’s not happy with the quality of classical dancing at the Paris Opera Ballet.
Plans after Leaving Paris Opera Ballet
Benjamin Millepied has said that he had already planned to leave the Paris Opera Ballet to go back to Los Angeles and focus on his dance company that he founded some years ago. This would make life easier for Natalie and their son Aleph, as it was the same place where they were living before they moved to Paris.
Here’s Benjamin Millepied in his own words about leaving the Paris Opera Ballet
I want to regain my freedom and I want to create. I’ve been honored to be given the opportunity to work at the Opera and with the dancers, but this job, as it exists today, is not something I want.
Benjamin Millepied on the L.A. Dance Project
I want to fully build my vision for a dance company of our time, to respond to cultural challenges, building audiences and making dance more popular. It’s time to redefine what a dance organization is today.