USMagazine, Thursday, January 24, 2013, 7:40am (PST)
Natalie Portman and her family are getting ready to say au revoir to Hollywood. The Black Swan star's husband, French dancer-choreographer Benjamin Millepied, has been tapped to be the new director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet starting September 2014, the New York Times announces. Millepied, 35, told the paper that he and Portman, 31, will move to the French metropolis for the position with Aleph, their 20-month-old son.
Overcoming current or former members of the company to nab the spot, Millepied replaces Brigitte Lefevre, the director of dance at the Paris Opera since 1995, who is retiring after the 2013-2014 season. "I was surprised, but I felt very quickly that the artistic dialogue between us was an exciting one," Millepied told the Times of Stéphane Lissner, who will become the Opera's new artistic director in 2015. "After a while I did feel there was a really good chance I might get the position. Which made my head spin."
Millepied met Portman on the set of Black Swan in 2009 (he was its choreographer and had a small onscreen role), with the twosome announcing their engagement -- and Portman's pregnancy -- in December 2010. Born in Bordeaux, France, the handsome dad became a star dancer with the City Ballet in 2002.
With Portman giving birth to Aleph in June 2011, Millepied retired from the stage that same year, founding the L.A. Dance Project -- a small, experimental troupe -- in 2012. (Millepied told the Times he hopes the troupe will continue after his departure.)