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 “Bourse Lavoisier,” 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 Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions set to music by J.S Bach. That same year, he was awarded the “Prix de Lausanne.” In his last year at SAB, Millepied received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and was invited to become a member of 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. 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.
Millepied’s repertoire includes featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Ballo Della Regina, Coppélia, “Divertimento” from Le Baiser De La Fée, The Nutcracker, Harlequinade, Rubies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Raymonda Variations, La Source, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C, Tarantella, Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux, Theme and Variations, Valse-Fantasie; in Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions, Dances at a Gathering, Fancy Free, A Suite of Dances, In The Night, The Four Seasons, Dybbuk, Interplay, Piano Pieces and West Side Story Suite; in Susan Stroman’s Double Feature and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance)and Mercurial Manoeuvres; and in Peter Martins’ Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Additionally, Millepied originated roles in many works, including: Jerome Robbins’ Brandenburg, Les Noces (revival), and Dybbuk (revival); Peter Martins’ Hallelujah Junction; Angelin Preljocaj’s La Stravaganza; Mauro Bigonzetti’s Vespro and In Vento; and Alexei Ratmanski’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.
Millepied is recognized in the dance world both as a dancer and also as a choreographer. His choreographic works include: “Passages” for the Conservatoire National de Lyon (2001), “Triple Duet” for Danses Concertantes performed at Sadler’s Wells, London (2002) and “Circular Motion” also for Danses Concertantes, London (2004); “Chaconne”, a dance film, co-directed by film-maker Olivier Simola (2003); “On The Other Side” for Danses Concertantes performed at Maison de la Danse, Lyon (2004); “Double Aria” danced by the New York City Ballet, with the original score of Daniel Ott (2005); “28 Variations of an Theme By Paganini” for the School of American Ballet (2005); an original full-length “Casse-Noisette” for the Grand Théâtre de Genève with set designs and costumes by artist Paul Cox (2005); “Closer” as part of Benjamin Millepied and Company season at the Joyce Theater New York, with live accompaniment by Philip Glass (2006); “Capriccio” for American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company (2006); “Years Later”, a solo work for Mikhail Baryshnikov in collaboration with Mr. Simola (2006); “Amoveo” for the Paris Opera Ballet with set design by Paul Cox and costumes by Marc Jacobs (2006); “From Here On Out “ for American Ballet Theatre, original score by Nico Muhly (2007); “Petrouchka” for the Ballet de Genève with set design and costumes by Paul Cox (2007); “Triade” for the Paris Opera Ballet with an original score by Nico Muhly (2008); “3 Movements” for Pacific Northwest Ballet (2008); “Without” for Danses Concertantes (2008); “Quasi Una Fantasia” for the New York City Ballet (2009); “Everything doesn’t happen at once” for American Ballet theatre (2009); Sarabande for Danses Concertantes, premiered in Lyon (2009); “Why Am I Not Where You Are” with a commissioned score by Thierry Escaich and scenery by Santiago Calatrava, New York City Ballet (2010); “Plainspoken” with a commissioned score by David Lang, New York City Ballet (2010); and“One thing leads to another” with a commissioned score by Nico Muhly, costumes by Rodarte, Het National Ballet (2010).
In 2010, Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky’s feature film “Black Swan.”