What about the challenge of taking over the artistic direction of such a grandiose institution? Millepied points out, “I am not entirely a foreigner.” He was born in Bordeaux, France, and trained at the Lyon Conservatory before moving to the United States when he was 16 to train at the School of American Ballet, from which he went on to dance with the New York City Ballet.
Stephane Lissner, who will take over the general directorship from Mr. Joel, dismissed the idea of Millepied as an outsider, “saying it was the vision of the candidate that mattered.”
Millepied says he will keep the big classics already in the repertoire, and he also plans to invite contemporary choreographers to work with the company. He is additionally hoping to develop a program to nurture budding in-house choreographic talent. “I am passionate about ballet,” he says. “I want to see that technique being used and evolving.”
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