Born in Bordeaux France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother, Catherine Millepied a former modern dancer. From age thirteen to sixteen he attended the Conservatoire National de Lyon, studying classical ballet under Michel Rahn. In the summer of 1992, Millepied made his first appearance in New York City, for a summer program at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. The following year, he became a full-time student at the school, having received the â€śBourse Lavoisier,â€ť a scholarship award from the French Ministry of Culture.
In the 1994 School of American Ballet Spring Workshop, Millepied originated a principal role in Jerome Robbinsâ€™ 2 & 3 Part Inventions set to music by J.S Bach. That same year, he was awarded the â€śPrix de Lausanne.â€ť In his last year at SAB, Millepied receivedÂ the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and was invited to become a member ofÂ New York City Ballet. In the Spring of 2001, he was promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer. In 2004 and 2005, Millepied directed the Morriss Center Dance Workshop in Bridgehampton, New York.Â From 2006 to 2007, he was choreographer-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. In 2007, Millepied 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.
Millepiedâ€™s repertoire includes featured roles in George Balanchineâ€™s Agon, Ballo Della Regina, CoppĂ©lia, â€śDivertimentoâ€ť from Le Baiser De La FĂ©e, The Nutcracker, Harlequinade, Rubies, A Midsummer Nightâ€™s Dream, Raymonda Variations, La Source, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C, Tarantella, Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux, Theme and Variations, Valse-Fantasie;Â in Jerome Robbinsâ€™ 2 & 3 Part Inventions, Dances at a Gathering, Fancy Free, A Suite of Dances, In The Night, The Four Seasons, Dybbuk, Interplay, Piano Pieces andÂ West Side Story Suite; in Susan Stromanâ€™s Double Feature and Christopher Wheeldonâ€™s Carousel (A Dance)and Mercurial Manoeuvres; and in Peter Martinsâ€™ Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.
Additionally, Millepied originated roles in many works, including: Jerome Robbinsâ€™ Brandenburg, Les Noces (revival), and Dybbuk (revival); Peter Martinsâ€™ Hallelujah Junction; Angelin Preljocajâ€™s La Stravaganza; Mauro Bigonzettiâ€™s Vespro and In Vento; and Alexei Ratmanskiâ€™s Concerto DSCH. In 1999 and 2002 he appeared in featured roles with the New York City Ballet for the nationally televised Live From Lincoln Center broadcast.
In 2010, Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofskyâ€™s feature film â€śBlack Swan.â€ť
That year, Millepied also directed his first short film featuring Lea Seydoux and a score by Angelo Badalamenti. In 2011, Millepied directed 5 short films set to Philip Glass new violin works, commissioned by Timothy Fain.
Benjamin is currently working on a new series of short films produced by the online network Danceon.
The Los Angeles Music Center and Millepied announced the creation of LA Dance Project to debut in September 2012.Â In May 2012 he premiered a new work Two Hearts for New York City Ballet.
Benjamin Millepied is the face of Yves Saint Laurentâ€™s new fragrance â€ślâ€™homme libre.â€ť
Beginning September 2014 Mr. Millepied will become the Director of the Paris Opera Ballet.