Ballet, despite having its original origins in Italy, gained more roots and popularity in France owing to the then Queen of France, Catherine de’ Medici’s fondness of the dance style. Ballet has since grown to become a huge part of France’s rich history and culture. Little wonder many of the world-renowned ballet dancers like the French-born Benjamin Millepied have their origins in France.
Benjamin is famously known all over the world as a ballet dancer and choreographer. He co-founded the L.A. Dance project and in 2014, accepted to serve as the director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet before resigning in 2016. Read on as we take a peek into his life, dancing career, net worth, and family life.
Benjamin Millepied’s Biography
Millepied was born on 10th June 1977 in the port city of Bordeaux in France. He was raised by his parents, Denys Millepied and Catherine Flori, alongside his two elder brothers. There are no records of Benjamin receiving any formal education. His mother, being a former ballet dancer herself, started training him in the art of ballet when he was only eight. When he clocked 13, he studied at the Conservatoire National in Lyon France.
The French-born dancer, in 1992 having relocated to America, enrolled in a part-time base at the School of American Ballet. French foreign ministry gave him a scholarship the following year to study full-time. Benjamin Millepied met Jerome Robbins, an American classical ballet dancer, and choreographer who did both stage and television productions while studying at the School of American Ballet. Jerome would later become his mentor and feature him in the premiere of “2 and 3 Part Inventions”. Benjamin won the Prix de Lausanne in 1994.
In 1995, Benjamin Millepied joined New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet starting out as a dancer then moving on to become a soloist barely three years after and in 2002 was promoted to principal dancer. The talented ballet retired on October 26, 2011, from New York City Ballet. Millepied had other stints elsewhere as a choreographer working for prestigious dance companies like the American Ballet Theatre, the School of American Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, and many others, including his own company, Danses Concertantes and the Baryshnikov Arts center located in New York.
In 2011 Millepied alongside Charles Fabius, Nico Muhly, Mathieu Humery and Nicholas Britell founded the L.A. Dance Project which was a huge success recording various milestones, global tours, and partnerships. The award-winning dancer was named in January 2013 unofficially to take over as the director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet. He took over officially on October 15 of the following year. Millepied later resigned on February 4, 2016.
Benjamin Millepied has collaborated and featured alongside many notable composers and artists like David Lang, Philip Glass, Thierry Escaich, Mark Bradford, and Lil Buck amongst others. His dancing has been captured in many films. Some include ‘Barbie in the Nutcracker’ released in 2001, ‘Barbie of Swan Lake’ released in 2003, ‘Black Swan’ released in 2009 and in 2010 released film, ‘Time Doesn’t Stand Still’. French Ministry of Culture conferred on Millepied the Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters in 2010.
On August 22, 2012, Millepied appeared as a guest judge on American T.V dance competition, ‘So You think you can Dance’. He joined the Colburn School, a performing arts school, in Los Angeles in 2014 as an Artistic Advisor of its new dance academy.
What’s Benjamin Millepied’s Net Worth
The world-renowned choreographer has had a successful career in dancing so far recording huge successes and of course making a fortune from it. Millepied has an estimated net worth of almost a million dollars.
Benjamin Millepied’s Family, Wife
The French dancer began dating Isabella Boylston, an American ballet dancer but left her for actress Natalie Portman in 2009 after they met on the production set of ‘Black Swan’. Portman is an actress, director, and producer of Israeli and American nationality. She has two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award to her credit.
Natalie got pregnant for Benjamin and gave birth to their son, Aleph Millepied-Portman, on 14 June 2011. They later tied the nuptial knot in August 2012. Their daughter, Amalia Millepied-Portman, was born on February 22, 2017. The couple and their two children now live in L.A., after relocating from Paris.
Benjamin Millepied is considered to be quite tall with a height of 5ft 10in which is about 1.78m. The talented dancer stands tall and handsome with a good physique and body structure which is no surprise, considering his career choice.