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‘Emotional experiences with art and dance’ — Benjamin Millepied and Christie’s in LA

A special performance choreographed by the acclaimed dancer and art collector, performed against a backdrop of Post-War and Contemporary Art from our November sales

In October Christie’s took over the new UTA Artist Space in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, hanging highlights from November’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York, including works by Gerhard Richter and Richard Prince. 

In the above video Benjamin Millepied — the acclaimed dancer, choreographer and founder of the innovative LA Dance Project (LADP) — talks about returning from Paris (where he was Director of the Paris Opera Ballet) to refocus on Los Angeles, and how his work has been influenced by contemporary art. A special performance by members of his dance company, meanwhile, entertains the assembled art lovers. 

‘It’s so important to sit back and have these emotional experiences with art, with dance,’ explains Millepied. ‘Whether it is something that simply is the beauty that you need in the world that day, or something that reflects on society, dance can have many different approaches.’

‘The dialogue between artists generates interesting thoughts about your own art form and can lead to new territories’

Millepied choreographed the 2010 movie Black Swan starring Natalie Portman, who won an Oscar for her performance and became his wife in 2012. A year later he founded the Amoveo Company, a multimedia production company and artist’s collective, together with composer Nicholas Britell. Millepied has gone on to collaborate with artists including Mark Bradford, Christopher Wool and Alex Israel.

‘The dialogue between artists generates interesting thoughts about your own art form and can lead to new territories,’ he says, referencing the work of pioneering modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, whose expressionist movements can be seen in tandem with the works on view in the space.

‘It’s interesting for people to have this proximity to dance, to see the realism of the way the dancers move and sweat,’ adds Millepied. ‘People usually love it. It’s great for us to be able to show what we do to a sophisticated audience which loves art.’