Benjamin Millepied, who briefly helmed the Paris Opéra Ballet, finished his duties with the company on July 15. He will return to L.A. to focus his energy on his contemporary dance company, L.A. Dance Project, which has its Joyce Theater debut this month.
Millepied came on board at POB buzzing with ideas for change—we covered his first announcement of full-season programming, which included a new Forsythe ballet, his plans for a digital platform and his Americanization of the POB rep. Then, almost exactly a year later, we wrote about his resignation. It seemed that Millepied's ideas couldn't coexist with the POB hierarchy, and now iconic former étoile Aurélie Dupont leads the company.
Though Millepied has stepped out of a leadership position in the classical ballet world—for the time being—he's still very much involved. New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck has created two works for L.A. Dance Project, former Pacific Northwest Ballet star Carla Körbes is his associate artistic director, and American Ballet Theatre will perform his ballet Daphnis and Chloe as part of its Fall 2016 season.
Recently, Millepied revealed to The New York Times that Körbes and former New York City Ballet principal Janie Taylor will start dancing for the company in the fall. He also mentioned growing the company, good news for contemporary dancers with strong classical training. If Millepied's dreams for L.A. Dance Project come true, that it becomes a company performing new work and historical repertory across the classical and modern spectrum, it will offer opportunities for many dancers.