On Saturday night, Benjamin Millepied officially returned to the West Coast for what he called a “homecoming” and his company L.A. Dance Project’s annual gala at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, which drew Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs, among others.
“It’s the most successful gala that we’ve ever had,” he said, shortly after arriving to the red carpet with wife Natalie Portman. “It’s nice to feel the support from all the people here. It’s sort of a new beginning for the company.”
To celebrate his return from Paris, members of L.A.’s art crowd such as Frank Gehry and Alex Israel arrived for a family-style dinner by chef Armand Arnal while performance ticket holders coiled around the block in anticipation of the eight o’clock show.
For the full house, the show opened with Roy Assaf’s “II Acts for the Blind,” Christopher Wheeldon’s “After the Rain,” and closed with two pieces by Millepied, one of which was aptly named “Homecoming,” featuring a live performance from Rufus Wainwright. The dance with Janie Taylor marked Millepied’s swan song as a performer and he waved goodbye to the audience, before the company finished with “On the Other Side,” which showcased artwork by Mark Bradford.
Up next for LAPD are new projects and new partners, but revisiting past collaborations seems unlikely. On working with his wife, Millepied said with a smile, “Not in the near future, but maybe one day.”