'Black Swan' choreographer Millepied stepping down as Paris Opera dance director

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 04, 2016 10:00 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - French choreographer Benjamin Millepied said on Thursday he was stepping down as director of dance at the Paris Opera after little more than a year in the role, citing personal reasons.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the 38-year old - who is married to Hollywood actress Natalie Portman and collaborated with her on the 2010 ballet drama "Black Swan" - said he wanted to dedicate himself "100 percent" to "creation and artistic expression".

He added he would continue to work with the Paris Opera for the current season.

At a news conference, Paris Opera director Stephane Lissner said former principal ballerina Aurelie Dupont, who announced her retirement last spring, would replace Millepied.

"(Millepied) brought a lot to the ballet," Lissner told reporters.

"Being the ballet director and a much sought after choreographer was causing him trouble ... Aurelie will bring a lot of other things as she will take her post in September."

Millepied had directed the Paris Opera ballet since November 2014.

(Reporting By Julien Pretot in Paris; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian in London)