Benjamin Millepied Continues to Collaborate With Rodarte for L.A. Dance Project Premiere

Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman - P 2012
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Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman - P 2012

Speaking at a Zocalo Public Square event, the choreographer-dancer talked about his move to Los Angeles and his new art, dance and fashion collective.

Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy are becoming more and more involved with the world of dance and theatre, thanks, in large part, to costumes worn by their friend, Natalie Portman, in the Oscar-winning film, Black Swan.

Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed Swan's dance sequences met his now wife Portman during the filming, will collaborate again with Rodarte for his newly created L.A. Dance Project premiere performances on Sept 22-23 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

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Millepied recently collaborated with Rodarte for the costumes of his “Two Hearts,” part the New York City Ballet’s 2012 spring gala. Portman was the honorary chairman for the May 10 event.

Rodarte is also branching out into opera, with costumes for Don Giovanni, which will be at the Disney Concert Hall from Sept. 22-Oct. 14, with sets designed by the Hall’s architect Frank Gehry.

Millepied, Portman and their son Aleph Portman-Millepied have now relocated to Los Angeles, thanks in part to Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project, a dance and art collective including composer Nico Muhly, art consultant Matthieu Humery, producer Charles Fabius and film producer Dimitri Chamblas.

Millepied discussed his life and career at a Zocalo Public Square event June 3 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion with Amanda Fortini, contributing writer for The New Yorker. Watch the video interview here.

He told the audience that he will perform "three or four times in July" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, a collaboration with installation artist Mark Bradford. He also discussed an upcoming avante garde film project with Paranormal Activity 3 filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost.

“One of their fathers sponsored one of my first ballets in New York and they did a documentary about a choreography workshop I did in the Hamptons," he explained. "They ended up going to film school and now they are huge in Hollywood. They just did a short film about John Baldessari which can be seen soon on MOCA TV." 

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As for the criticism from dancers about director Darren Aronofsky’s no-holds-barred portrayal of the painful and demanding dance world, Millepied staunchly defended Swan.

“Darren Aronofsky is an interesting filmmaker and finally we had someone doing something  interesting about dance," he said. “A lot of people have been exposed to dance because of that movie and that is more beneficial athan any sort of marketing campaign. Never mind how we portrayed that world. Some people saw ballet for the first time in their lives.”