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Natalie Portman is leaving Los Angeles.
The actress’ husband, Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied, has been named director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet beginning in September 2014. In an announcement featured in The New York Times, Millepied confessed that he and his wife, along with their young son, Aleph, will relocate to the city of lights at the start of his new gig.
“I did grow up in France, and even though I didn’t go to the school or dance with the Paris Opera Ballet, I absorbed similar ideas in my training. I understand the scale of a big company. I danced for one for almost 20 years. I think it’s an asset that I have absorbed other traditions and had other experiences in the U.S., which I can bring to the dancers here,” said Millepied, 35. “But of course I have a lot to learn about this company and its very remarkable and specific qualities.”
Millepied will replace Brigitte Lefevre, director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet since 1995, who will retire at the end of the 2013-14 season.
Millepied was born in Bordeaux and trained at the Lyon Conservatory until he joined the School of American Ballet as a teen. In the City Ballet, Millepied became a principal dancer in 2002 until his retirement in 2011. At that point, Millepied moved to Los Angeles to focus on choreography; just last year, he founded the L.A. Dance Project.
Millepied was the choreographer and had a small onscreen role in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, where he met Portman, in 2009. The couple announced their engagement and Portman’s pregnancy in 2010.
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