Benjamin Millepied, L.A. Dance Project to help open Cannes Film Festival

Benjamin Millepied, L.A. Dance Project to help open Cannes Film Festival
Aaron Carr, Julia Eichten, Randy Castillo, Rachelle Rafailedes and Morgan Lugo perform "Quintett" during a 2014 L.A. Dance Project performance. (Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times)

When the luminaries of world cinema convene at the Palais des Festivals next week to open the annual Cannes Film Festival, they will be treated to a performance by a dance company from Los Angeles.

Members of L.A. Dance Project are scheduled to appear on stage during the festival's opening ceremony to perform a new piece that will be an homage to Hitchcock's "Vertigo."


The piece, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, will be set to the movie's famous love scene, according to a recent post on the company's official Facebook page.

The scene involves the James Stewart character rediscovering the presumed-dead Madeleine through the character of Judy, played by Kim Novak. Bernard Hermann's score for the scene borrowed heavily from the Liebestod from Wagner's opera "Tristan and Isolde."

Millepied's creation will feature 17 dancers, including L.A. Dance Project's Morgan Lugo, who will play the male lead, according to a report in Le Figaro. The cast is expected to consist mostly of L.A. Dance Project members, but will also feature dancers from other companies.

Last year, Millepied became the new director of the Paris Opera Ballet. He is a co-founder of L.A. Dance Project, which began in 2012.

The choreographer has another reason to be at Cannes this year. His wife, actress Natalie Portman, will present her feature film "A Tale of Love and Darkness," which she wrote and directed, and in which she also stars.

The movie, based on the Amos Oz book, will be presented out of competition.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT