Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Natalie Portman's Fiance and Procreation Partner, Benjamin Millepied

Natalie Portman has just announced her engagementand that she's expecting a baby with NYC principal dancer and ballet choreographer Benjamin Millepeid!

Benjamin Millepied image

Born in France, Benjamin is world renowned for his ballet choreography and expertise. In fact, he was hand-picked to help work on the dance sequences for the psychological ballet thriller, "Black Swan," where the lovebirds met. He also played both Natalie and Mila Kunis' dance partner in the film

The Black Swan choreographer who tour jeté'd his way into Natalie Portman's heart made headlines yesterday when it was confirmed that the couple are both engaged and expecting a baby.

So, obviously, before he snatches up one of America's sweethearts for good, there are a few things you should know:

1. What's in a name: Millepied is as French as he sounds. The 33-year-old, whose last name fittingly means "a thousand feet," was born in Bordeaux.

2. He doesn't just talk the talk: Just because the blue-eyed hunk teaches, it doesn't mean he can't do. Born to a dancing mum, Millepied started studying ballet at the age of 8, then headed for the Conservatoire National in Lyon when he was 13. Famed choreographer Jerome Robbins took him under his wing while he trained at the School of American Ballet and he originated roles in Robbins' Brandenburg and Les Noces. Other major players he's worked with include Helgi Tomasson, Christopher d'Amboise and Christopher Wheeldon. He joined the New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in 1995, was promoted to soloist in 1998 and became a principal dancer (aka a big friggin' star) in 2002. He has choreographed pieces for NYCB and has appeared on PBS both as a dancer and in New York City Ballet's Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography, part of the Live From Lincoln Center series.

3. Parallel paths: Just as his future fiancée was winning raves for her knockout debut in The Professional (opposite Frenchman Jean Reno, incidentally) in 1994, Millepied was winning the Prix de Lausanne (an international competition for dancers ages 15-18). He won the School of American Ballet's Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise the following year. Portman was nominated for an Oscar in 2005 and is probably going to repeat the feat next month, so Millepied better get crackin' on whatever honor ballet has to offer him next.

4. "Pick me, pick me!": Millepied signed on to Black Swan as choreographer. Playing Portman and Mila Kunis' dance partner came after he volunteered himself for the role. "Whatever he did, he always made it so that I was still able to do it and not look like a jackass," Kunis told Details this summer. "He wasn't alien like a lot of people I found in the dance world," added director Darren Aronofsky. Millepied again exercises his acting bone in Time Doesn't Stand Still, a romantic short he created with director Asa Mader.

5. Not exactly a secret admirer: "I really, really got into it," Millepied said of his six-line role in Black Swan. "You're standing up next to those actors, like Natalie, and you're like, 'F-k.' I was blown away—especially by Natalie, who was amazing to watch."


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