Benjamin Millepied was born in Bordeaux, France, and began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother, a former modern dancer. He studied in 1992 at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, and returned a year later with a scholarship from the French Ministry to study full-time. Millepied originated a principal role in the World premiere of Jerome Robbins’s 2 & 3 Part Inventions at SAB’s 1994 Spring Workshop performance. He joined New York City Ballet in 1995 and was promoted to principal dancer in 2001.
In addition to his career as a dancer with NYCB, where his repertory includes featured roles in works by Balanchine, Robbins, and Martins, Millepied began choreographing in 2001, creating his first work, Passages, for the Conservatoire National de Lyon. He has since created two works for American Ballet Theatre (From Here On Out and Everything Doesn't Happen at Once), which was included in the opening night program of the Company's debut performance in Beijing, China, in November 2009. Other choreographic credits include Pacific Northwest Ballet (3 Movements), Paris Opera Ballet (Amoveo,Triade) and the School of American Ballet (28 Variations of a Theme By Paganini). He created his first work for the New York City Ballet in May 2009 (Quasi Una Fantasia) and has been commissioned for a second world premiere by the Company is spring 2010. In 2005, Millepied choreographed a full-length production of Casse-Noisette for the Grand Théâtre de Genève, featuring sets and costumes designed by artist Paul Cox and returned two years later to create a new production of Petrouchka with the same design team. The Joyce Theater presented seasons of his choreography in 2006 and 2008, each with a world premiere: Closer with composer Philip Glass playing his own piano score and Without. He collaborated with filmmaker Olivier Simola on a solo work for Mikhail Baryshnikov in 2006, and served as “choreographer in residence” to the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York, that same year.
Millepied directs a small ensemble, Benjamin Millepied: Danses Concertantes. The ensemble performed at the Joyce Theater, New York for a week in December 2008, during which Millepied created a world premiere (Without). The ensemble toured France and Germany in November/December 2009. In the course of the tour, Millepied created two world premieres, (Sarabande) in Lyon and another work, (Amina) for the Cannes Dance Festival.
Millepied choreographed the dance sequences and appeared in the feature Black Swan directed by Darren Aronofsky.