Mr. Millepied, who has created two works for the Paris Opera Ballet and has a third commissioned for next season, said he did not plan to prioritize his own choreography in his programming. The core of his artistic vision, he said, would be a strong focus on contemporary ballet repertory.
The same position was held from 1983 to 1989 by Rudolf Nureyev. The Russian superstar choreographed ballets that are still in the company repertoire and performed each year. He spotted talents such as Sylvie Guillem who went on to become international stars. One Nureyev protege -- Laurent Hilaire, currently Lefevre’s deputy -- had been viewed as a potential successor until today’s nomination.
Benjamin Millepied, the "Black Swan" choreographer who helped transform Natalie Portman into an obsessed, paranoid ballerina for the film and later married the actress, was named director of the Paris Opera Ballet on Thursday.