french choreographer millepied starts anew in la
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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French choreographer Millepied starts anew in LA

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Arab Today, arab today French choreographer Millepied starts anew in LA

French choreographer Benjamin Millepied marks his return to Los Angeles this week
Los Angeles - AFP

French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who spectacularly left the Paris Opera Ballet earlier this year, will mark his return to Los Angeles this week with a new show.

The dance star -- husband of Hollywood actress Natalie Portman -- also revealed he is working on a feature film as he held rehearsals this week with his dance troupe from the L.A. Dance Project at a studio in downtown Los Angeles.

The performances December 9 and 10 will consist of four dances, including the world premiere of "Homecoming," choreographed by the ex-star dancer of the New York City Ballet.

"It's a beautiful title that evokes a couple's reunion but also a return," Millepied told AFP in an interview.

The show symbolizes his comeback in Los Angeles, where he settled in 2012 with Portman before his brief stint at the Paris Opera Ballet. It also marks the first time he will be taking to the stage in a year.

"It's a duo that I created with Janie Taylor, an exceptional dancer with the New York City Ballet, but I don't plan on doing this often. It's probably the last time," said the 39-year-old blue-eyed star who sports a short beard.

Dancing "requires a lot of preparation, even though when you get into it, it's a real pleasure," he says.

"I prefer to concentrate on creating and making sure that the L.A. Dance Project becomes a success for the Los Angeles community and that it encompass what I believe an artistic organization must represent in our times."

He said all performing arts organizations, be they orchestras, operas or ballets were having a hard time evolving from the mindset of the 1950s.

"They are often stuck in a time that no longer fits in with what the public is looking for," he says.

For Millepied, the ballet companies of the future "must come up with powerful projects and work closely" with musicians, artists and major brands to attract a new public.

The show in Los Angeles will also include a live performance by the singer Rufus Wainwright, who composed "Homecoming," artwork by LA artist Mark Bradford and music by Philip Glass.

Millepied, who was initiated to dance by his mother, herself a dancer, said he is aiming for shows that are "immersive" and wants to establish partnerships with museums, cities or even brands and special sites -- like a train station -- using new media in order to reach a wide public.

- 'Wasn't for me' -

One example of how he wishes to break away from the mold is his collaboration with the French jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels with which he partnered to create a short film set against the Los Angeles river.

He said he is delighted to be back in Los Angeles, where he feels at home.

"Los Angeles is not like New York, full of artistic organizations that have become a bit conservative, it's a great cultural city," he said.

"To dance in Los Angeles today is like an artist setting up shop in New York in the 1960s and 1970s -- it's virgin territory," he adds, pointing out that there are no major dance companies in the city.

He said working with 10 dancers, compared to 154 when he was in Paris, has proved a liberating experience that has allowed him to thrive.

"I need space to mull over my creations and work on my films, because I have always made short films but now I am starting a new project for a feature movie," he said.

On his 15 months at the venerable Paris Opera Ballet, he says he learned a lot and dealt with success and error.

"I am back here a changed man," he said. "It was a fantastic experience, but it wasn't for me."

Source: AFP

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