25 January 2013 4:21 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Choreographer who married Natalie Portman after preparing her for Oscar-winning role is new Palais Garnier chief

Benjamin Millepied, the choreographer who helped transform Natalie Portman into an obsessed, paranoid ballerina for the film Black Swan – before marrying her – has been named director of one of the world's most revered ballet companies, the Paris Opera Ballet.

Portman and Millepied, who have a son, met during the making of Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller, which stars Portman as a troubled ballet dancer. Portman won the best actress Academy Award for her performance in the movie.

Millepied, 35, is a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, but has no previous ties to the company, and is known for his innovative work outside classical ballet. In 2001 he left Nycb to found his own dance company in Los Angeles, La Dance Project. Although French, he trained largely in the Us.

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