Benjamin Millepied discloses details about his L.A. Dance Project

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Benjamin Millepied revealed more information about the first season of L.A. Dance Project, his new company that will kick off its first season in September at the Music Center. Millepied divulged that the organization will feature a total of seven dancers, none of whom is from L.A.

‘Casting was really, really hard,’ he said at a press conference Monday at Walt Disney Concert Hall for the announcement of the 2012-13 season of Dance at the Music Center. Late last year, Millepied held an audition session in downtown L.A.

‘It would’ve been my wish’ to hire local dancers, Millepied said. But he said he was looking for dancers of a certain quality and caliber, and ‘most people that great usually have jobs.’

He added that L.A. Dance Project is close to finding a permanent space in the city, and that ‘the goal is to have a home.’


As previously reported, L.A. Dance Project will perform a world-premiere piece by Millepied, featuring music by Nico Muhly. It will also perform William Forsythe’s ‘Quintett’ and Merce Cunningham’s ‘Winterbranch.’ Millepied said he will be dancing in ‘Quintett’ in what will be one of his final dance performances. The L.A. Dance Project is scheduled for Sept. 22-23 at Disney Hall.

Millepied, a former New York City Ballet principal, has a child with actress Natalie Portman, whom he met while they were both working on the 2010 movie ‘Black Swan.’ Monday’s press conference also featured Misty Copeland, a soloist at American Ballet Theatre, and Jillian Vanstone, a principal at the National Ballet of Canada.

Copeland, who grew up in Southern California, will appear in ABT’s ‘Le Corsaire’ at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Vanstone will play the title role on the National Ballet of Canada’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.’


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-- David Ng