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A Surprising Shake-Up at the Paris Opera Ballet

Star choreographer Benjamin Millepied resigns as dance director of the prestigious company

Benjamin Millepied is bidding farewell to the Paris Opera Ballet. 

The Black Swan choreographer (and husband to Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman) has resigned as the POB’s director of dance after a little more than a year in the role. In a statement posted to his Twitter account Thursday, Millepied cited personal reasons as the reason for his exit. 

“My job as director of dance currently requires such a commitment that it largely precludes what is essential in my eyes—artistic creation and expression,” he said in the post. 

The 38-year-old dancer indicated his plans to remain with the opera for the 2016-17 season and then return to Los Angeles, where he heads up small contemporary dance collective, L.A. Dance Project. His goals are to expand the ensemble—which he founded four years ago—and focus on his own choreography. 

Aurélie Dupont, former Paris Opera Ballet étoile, will lead the troupe following Millepied’s leave on July 15.