With the Paris Dance Project, Benjamin Millepied is creating a talent “incubator” in Ile-de-France


Solenne du Haÿs Mascré and Benjamin Millepied at the launch of the Paris Dance Project at the 7L bookstore, in Paris, on May 30, 2023.

“Dancing has been therapy for me, and I know all the good it can do for young people. It is a life-transforming window of freedom. » With this fiery declaration, the dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, director of dance at the Paris Opera from 2014 to 2016, gives the color of his new project launched on Tuesday May 30. Imagined in complicity with Solenne du Haÿs Mascré, it is called “Paris Dance Project” and will dialogue with the Los Angeles Dance Project founded in 2012 by Millepied. “I rely on what we were able to do there, but also on my experience at the Paris Opera to imagine this nomadic structure which will travel throughout Ile-de-France, he continues. I want to give the energy of dance where people need it. »

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Benjamin Millepied, who left Los Angeles, where he lived, to resettle in Paris in August 2022, met Solenne du Haÿs Mascré in 2019, during the production of his show Romeo and Juliet at La Seine musicale, in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine). Together they developed this “incubator” of talents based on different axes. The educational component, in conjunction with schools and colleges, started in April with the weekly presence of Benjamin Millepied in a class of 4e of the Saint-Philippe establishment, in Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine). “The social aspect dedicated to diversity and child support in so-called priority neighborhoods is very important to us”says Solenne du Haÿs Mascré.

At the same time, the Paris Dance Project intends to place orders, produce and distribute shows signed by young choreographers. A first salvo entitled Exaltations, with Leïla Ka, Mellina Boubetra, Anna Chirescu, Alexandre Fandard, is on view on June 3 as part of the Nuit blanche. “By 2025, we will develop a campus to train and support a new generation of artists, slip Millepied. It is so difficult today to be visible and to turn! »

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With institutional partners such as the Philharmonie, the Musée d’Orsay and the patronage of Richard Mille, Benjamin Millepied and Solenne du Haÿs Mascré, already surrounded by a team of ten people, have also found a rallying point: Hangar Y, in Meudon. In this huge space, a former airship hangar located within a park, studios are being renovated. An emergency, according to Millepied. ” I could see, for the creation of my solo Unstill Life, which is going to be presented at the Nuits de Fourvière, that it is very difficult to find spaces to rehearse in Paris. »

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