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Benjamin Millepied to leave Paris Opera Ballet?


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The link is necessarily in French, but Paris Match is carrying a report that Benjamin Millepied will be leaving his post as Director at Paris Opera Ballet.  No date is given, but the 2016-17 Season is already fixed.  Reasons speculated upon include the possibility of his wife, Natalie Portman, wanting to resume her film career, or that he is unhappy as an Administrator.  If the news is confirmed, this will have been an extremely short-lived appointment - he took over in September 2014.

 

 

http://www.parismatch.com/Culture/Spectacles/Benjamin-Millepied-sur-le-depart-907585

 

News of the appointment broke back in January 2013:

 

http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/2786-benjamin-millepied-to-be-next-director-at-paris-opera-ballet/?hl=millepied

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His appointment seemed to me to be motivated by a desire by the powers that be to 'shake things up', which was thought could only be achieved by an outsider. Appointments like that are invariably risky, particularly at an august company such as the POB. I wonder who will replaces him. Have the obvious 'in-house' candidates all been alienated?

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His appointment seemed to me to be motivated by a desire by the powers that be to 'shake things up', which was thought could only be achieved by an outsider. Appointments like that are invariably risky, particularly at an august company such as the POB. I wonder who will replaces him. Have the obvious 'in-house' candidates all been alienated?

I think they left at the time of the appointment!

 

Obviously I have no idea whom the may be looking for but a couple of alumni have been gaining experience as directors elsewhere...

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In one of the memoires about Rudolf Nureyev, an author remembers watching a wildlife TV film with Rudolf.  Crocodiles are viciously fighting with one another over their prey, jaws snap and bodies writhe.  Nureyev points to the screen and says "Paris Opera Ballet".

 

Although Millipied appeared an outsider bet, he was probably chosen to prevent an internecine struggle within the company as all the candidates commended their own supporter factions.  Now it looks as if they will have to go through the whole process again.  They will probably choose an another outsider.  Ratmansky would be a good choice if he is prepared to run a company again.

 

Foe those that can read French I recommend reading Dansomanie tomorrow.

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But, knowing how intense it gets on Dansomanie, probably only if you have several hours to spare ...

 

That's a point: does Dansomanie have one of those "Print" settings or whatever that allows you to read several pages of text on one page?  I don't think I've ever bothered trying.  (Come to think of it, do we?   EDIT: Sort of.  There's a Print icon down towards the bottom left of the page along with all the social media icons and so on, but it looks as though it doesn't show more than one page at a time.  It strips off the avatars, poster's details, signatures and so on, giving a simpler look with seemingly more text for your money.)

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I've found nothing more of substance in English thus far, but looking at the welter of stuff in French issued over the past hours, there is a definite suggestion that all has not been running smoothly.  In particular, Millepied seems to have made some pretty harsh remarks about the Company in a TV documentary in December, and the Director of the Opera "has some important things to say" at tomorrow's Press Conference.  (And as I recall, his LA Dance Project did not expire when he moved to Paris.  Convenient for Mrs M and Hollywood?)

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Another article from Le Monde with a few more details about the background: http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2016/02/04/benjamin-millepied-va-t-il-quitter-l-opera-de-paris_4858949_3246.html

For those who don't understand, the highlights: French Karl Paquette (and one would assume many others in the company) took very badly comments from Millepied about the lack of excellence of the company in the classical repertoire (a repertoire BM doesn't sound all that interested in). Beyond there seem to have been a culture clash with both sides not too happy with the other, he found the organisation too static, they complained he wanted to shake things up too much.

That article sounds rather more critical of him than the company, but if as it states BM was complaining that some dancers were missing class once or twice a week, I find it hard to defend the dancers here, and the change he made to La Bayadère (no longer have the children perform in blackface) sound overdue to me. 

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And some 25 minutes ago, the BBC began to carry the story.  Were Kevin O'Hare to leave the Royal Ballet at short notice, I wonder if the UK media would generate the coverage evident across the Channel yesterday?

 

That's because Kevin O'Hare isn't married to a glamorous, Oscar-winning, Hollywood actress.  Were Millipede not the storey wouldn't be getting the coverage it is.

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Aurelie Dupont announced as new Directrice, some links if I can manage it.

 

http://www.bfmtv.com/culture/aurelie-dupont-nommee-directrice-de-l-opera-de-paris-948926.html

 

 

http://www.telerama.fr/musique/aurelie-dupont-remplace-benjamin-millepied-comme-directrice-de-la-danse-a-l-opera-de-paris,137875.php

 

 

And officially:

https://mobile.twitter.com/operadeparis/status/695253491997110272?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

 

"Stéphane Lissner confirme le départ de @B_Millepied et annonce Aurélie Dupont comme Directrice de la danse au 01/08."

Edited by Grand Tier Left
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Catching up on the Twitter stream (grâce à Laura Cappelle): Dupont it is from next summer, others were considered; the decision was not rushed.  Millepied appears to have had difficulty reconciling his choreographic career with being Boss; no questions taken on the matter of Ms Portman wanting to return to the USA; and he left before the end of the Conference.  As to the future, Ms Dupont reckons that with 13 productions in a season, it's not sufficient to have just two 'Classics.'

 

Eh voilà!

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Just to chime in to say that I love the POB and have been critical of Benjamin Millepied's tenure, specifically, the manner in which he talked about the institution and its dancers in public (He strikes me, just based on his public utterances, as someone who is very interesting and bursting with ideas, but also entirely lacking in modesty, circumspection and self awareness, and much too full of self importance and hubris). What do all of you think of his talents as a choreographer? The few things I've seen (never live, only on the internet) have struck me as super super boring, but I don't know much about his choreographic output.

 

I am very happy that Aurelie Dupont will be the new Directrice de la Dance. I have no idea what she will be like as an AD, but I think it is so wonderful that there are more and more women in the "AD" position in ballet companies around the world! Of course the POB had Brigitte Lefevre for 20 years as Directrice de la Dance, and I believe she had done a wonderful job of balancing contemporary and classical pieces... Good luck to her, and good luck to the wonderful POB  

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It was pretty unclassy of BM to be so rude about his dancers and the company in public. He seems to be more interested in contemporary dance than classical ballet. It's good that he and POB have parted ways now rather than limp on for another couple of years for the sake of appearances. If Aurelie Dupont's appointment was well considered (is it an interim or a permanent one?) then his departure must have been known about for a while. I believe that next season's programme is due to be announced on 10 February, which may account for the announcement of BM's departure now.

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I'm glad to see that POB is behaving like a Premier League football club in this matter: if the fans aren't getting the standard that they are used to, or that they desire, then the manager is out the door very quickly. In this case, it would seem that BM was an inappropriate appointment for such a traditional company with the world's longest balletic heritage: yes, one can 'mix it up' with some contemporary pieces and new commissions to keep it fresh, but when it comes down to it, a company such as this one needs deep respect for its classical traditions.....not to mention its dancers.

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What do all of you think of his talents as a choreographer? The few things I've seen (never live, only on the internet) have struck me as super super boring, but I don't know much about his choreographic output.

 

I've not seen much of his, but remember photographing LA Project, and being a bit bored too. Afterwards, got some sensational photos from the shoot, as the individual steps were super - the overall piece, or maybe it was the musical choice, was dull as ditchwater though.

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I am very happy that Aurelie Dupont will be the new Directrice de la Dance. I have no idea what she will be like as an AD, but I think it is so wonderful that there are more and more women in the "AD" position in ballet companies around the world!

 

More and more? Let's see, of major companies, there is Karen Kain, Tamara Rojo, Madeleine Onne at Hong Kong Ballet, and now Aurelie Dupont, and...... and.... ?

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More and more? Let's see, of major companies, there is Karen Kain, Tamara Rojo, Madeleine Onne at Hong Kong Ballet, and now Aurelie Dupont, and...... and.... ?

Eleonora Abbagnato is the director of the Rome Opera Ballet?

Edited by yumiko
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