To the Surprise of Nobody/Delight of Everybody, Benjamin Millepied Is Making a Movie
Today in "How has this not already happened?" news: Benjamin Millepied—former New York City Ballet principal, former artistic director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, founder/director of L.A. Dance Project, and Mr. Natalie Portman—is going to direct and choreograph a big-screen film, Carmen.
According to Variety, the new project is "a contemporary musical drama inspired by French choreographer Georges Bizet's opera." That opera's music is rich with dance possibility—several choreographers have created ballets using its famous themes. In Millepied's version of the story, Carmen will be not a Spanish gypsy but "a woman who travels form the deserts of Mexico to Los Angeles in search of freedom." We're hoping that journey involves a whoooole lot of dancing.
Millepied has, of course, been on movie sets before: He choreographed Black Swan (which is where he famously met Portman) and was the subject of the Paris Opéra Ballet documentary Reset. But this is his first time in the director's chair. He's working with a pretty stellar creative team, including composer Nicholas Britell (known for his gorgeous Moonlight score) and cinematographer Darius Khondji.
Shooting starts early next year in L.A. Stay tuned—and let the fantasy casting begin!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?
The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.