Natalia Vodianova Launches Benjamin Millepied At the Paris Opera Ballet By Annie Leibovitz For Vogue US November 2014
Natalia Vodianova joins Benjamin Millepied, the 37-year-old French dancer, choreographer and now new director of the Paris Opera Ballet, in ‘Grand Entrance’, lensed by Annie Leibovitz for the November issue of Vogue. Tonne Goodman styles Vodianova and Michael Philouze for Millepied./ Hair by Oribe; makeup by Stéphane Marais; set designer Mary Howard.
Hamish Bowles writes the story behind the editorial, noting that Millepied joins “a wave of glamorous young innovators heading up legendary arts companies, from Gustavo Dudamel at the Los Angeles Philharmonic to Andris Nelsons at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.”
In a country that takes its cultural heritage very seriously, Millepied is a bit of an upstart … an outsider. Born in Bordeaux, he trained and danced in America, rejecting the French ballet school system and training at the School of American Ballet in New York.
In 2010, Millepied chereographed the dance sequences and appeared in the “feverish ballet drama ‘Black Swan’. Its star Natalie Portman was soon his wife, and they now have a three-year-old son, Aleph. As an aside, Portman has been working in her native Israel, making her debut as a director on an adaptation of Amos Oz’s controversial ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’.
Millepied is following in illustrious steps. Rudolf Nureyev’s boisterous directorship in the 1980s nurtured such stars as Sylvie Guillem and Isabelle Guérin. “It’s not a conservative audience at all,” says Millepied, who points out that his predecessor Brigitte Lefèvre, “has done such challenging programs here, and the audience is open to it. It’s Paris, so artistically I can do whatever I want. I can take risks!”
Read on at Vogue.com