L.A. Dance Project Forms Partnership With Luma Foundation
By ROSLYN SULCAS JUNE 10, 2016
NEW YORK TIMES
Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project has formed a three-year partnership with the Luma Foundation in Arles, France, the foundation announced Friday.
The partnership will offer the nine-member company a continuing residency and performance space in the foundation’s Parc des Ateliers, a former rail yard of about 25 acres that contains several 19th-century industrial buildings, currently being restored by Selldorf Architects. The architect Frank Gehry is building a central cultural resource building for the campus, to be completed in 2018.
The ambitious project is headed by Maja Hoffmann, an heir to the Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceutical empire, who founded the Luma Foundation in 2004. In an interview with Ms. Hoffmann and Mr. Millepied in May at the London headquarters of the foundation, Ms. Hoffmann emphasized that her goal was not to create a museum, but a place of creation and collaborative exchange.
She said that renovation on the building that will eventually house the dancers would begin in October, and include the creation of studio space, therapy rooms and accommodation. The L.A Dance Project will begin its residency in July, however, in a newly opened building, La Mécanique Générale, a structure that will also house a photographic exhibition during the summer. The company will give performances of work by Merce Cunningham, Justin Peck and Mr. Millepied from July 7 to 13, and Sept. 23 to 25.
The residency in Arles provides a continuing link to France for the French-born Mr. Millepied, who was a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet before founding the L.A. Dance Project in 2012 and going on to become director of the Paris Opera Ballet. His surprise resignation in February shocked the dance world, and he has so far said little about his future plans.
“Residencies are rare, and it’s lucky to have a place far from a big city, where you can gather with your dancers,” Mr. Millepied said. “We have a home in L.A. and are obviously interested in the American repertory, but now we have a second home in Europe that will also welcome visual artists, philosophers, architects, photographers. The environment will do the work too; I don’t know exactly what will come out of it, but it will be such a rich cultural context for us all.”