The Paris Opera, whose affiliated ballet company is the world's oldest, Thursday named Millepied its new director of dance, succeeding Brigitte Lefèvre when she retires next year. The Bordeaux-born Millepied, 35, who met Portman when he was choreographer of her 2010 film "Black Swan," is a former principal dancer of the New York City Ballet. He and Portman have lived in Los Angeles since he retired from the company in 2011.
While the Paris Opera Ballet generally promotes from within, Millepied has created two works for it, with a third having been commissioned for next season.
"I am not entirely a foreigner," he said Thursday, according to media accounts. "I did grow up in France, and even though I didn't go to the school or dance with the Paris Opera Ballet, I absorbed similar ideas in my training. I understand the scale of a big company. I danced for one for almost 20 years."
He launched his own company, L.A. Dance Project, in Los Angeles after retiring from City Ballet. Millepied said he would continue heading it until moving to Paris for his new position, and hoped the company would go on.
Portman, 31, who was born in Israel but raised mostly on Long Island, graduated from Syosset High School in 1999. She and Millepied, who welcomed their son in mid-2011, were married in California in August.