L.A. Gets A New Dance Company Of Its Own—And A Supportive A-List Fan Base To Match-------
One-company-town reputation aside, Los Angeles is the epicenter of a wide variety of artistic disciplines beyond film. Choreographer Benjamin Millepied (left)—at least as well known, if not better, in Hollywood-loving L.A. as the husband of Natalie Portman—aims to make one more at home with the launch of the L.A. Dance Project, a curatorial collective conceived by Millepied, composer Nico Muhly, art consultant Matthieu Humery, video producer Dimitri Chamblas, and producer Charles Fabius.
Following the sold-out premiere performance at Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, Millepied emphasized the influence of the city on his new venture. “The identity of Los Angeles is going to be very important to me,” he said. “It’s a city so rich in artists and culture that I would really like the dance company to embrace that and carry it throughout.” The debut program included Millepied’s own Moving Parts, a performance of William Forsythe’s Quintett, and the first showing of Merce Cunningham’s Winterbranch in 50 years. In the audience: locals like Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who designed the costumes for the performance, as well as fans Robert Pattinson, Rashida Jones, and Dita Von Teese.
Portman, for her part, wearing a gown from Raf Simons’ first collection for Dior Haute Couture and jewels from Van Cleef & Arpels, was just as enthusiastic as her husband about the future of dance in Los Angeles. “It is always amazing to have things expressed that can’t be expressed in other mediums, and it makes you feel things that words or sound can’t make you feel,” she said. “We didn’t have a dance company and now we do. It’s amazing that Ben is bringing it here.”