LA Dance Project’s “Homecoming” Premiere red carpet lived up to the glamour at the Ace Hotel as artist Benjamin Millepied shared what to expect, what the night meant to him, advise for young artists, and more.
On Dec. 10, 2016, LA Dance Project hosted their annual gala at The Theatre at Ace Hotel before their performance and world premiere of “Homecoming.” The program consisted of four pieces, two choreographed by company founder, Benjamin Millepied, with composition and live performance by composer Rufus Wainwright, and two original works choreographed by guest artists Christopher Wheeldon and Roy Assaf.
Those set to join Benjamin Millepied on the red carpet was wife Natalie Portman, along with other well-known guests: Rufus Wainwright and husband Jörn Weisbrodt, Darren Aronofsky, Robert Pattison , FKA Twigs, Janie Taylor, Carla Körbes, Frank Gehry, Eli Broad, Edythe Broad, Barbara Kruger, Maja Hoffman, Nicholas Brittle, André Saraiva, Willo Perron, and Alex Israel.
Of those who walked on the red carpet Millepied and Wainwright were the only ones I was able to get comments from. They shared laughs and insight as they graciously walked up the carpet taking photos and interviews from us reporters.
“It’s the most successful gala we've ever had. Its nice to feel the support from [everyone],” shares Millepied on what this night means to him. “It’s sort of a new beginning for the company. We will be announcing some very exciting steps for next year. New projects, new partners. It’s homecoming,” smiles Millepied.
“Yesterday was the first time we performed live together and it was fantastic. Piece of cake,” shares Wainwright. “I sensed a higher level of intensity with these incredible dancers, Benjamin being one of them. It’s a bit unnerving, but exciting.”
Here is a video of Millepied giving insight on the performance.
“He said it made him feel like dancing, which isn't often what I hear. People usually feel like crying when they listen to my material,” laughs Wainwright on why Millepied chose his music. “But he felt like dancing. I feel like a lot of people are going to be dancing and crying in the near future.”
When asked on what he would like the audience to take away from the performance, Millepied responded, “Whatever they take away is up to them. The whole point of dance is that I express it, and then it’s important for people to walk away from it with their own ideas and reactions.”
One reporter asked Millepied about if his and wife, Natalie Portman’s, five-year-old son had any interest in the arts yet and he responded with a chuckled, “He’s very young.”
The ending note of the night was the chance to ask Millepied a question about any advice he has for graduating dance majors coming into the professional world. As a dance major graduating in May, I soaked in every word as he answered my question.
“It’s a very different time than it was. First of all there are not a lot of companies around in America that can provide work,” stated Millepied. “It’s important as a young artist and dancer to really broaden and expose the landscape of arts and culture to have bigger, better understanding of the arts in general,” he advised, “[Don’t] just be focused on dance, but be entrepreneurial and think about what [you] are trying to say today.”
For information about the performance, scroll down for a review written by fellow Spot LA blogger, Sara Debevec!