Like most ballet dancers, the NYCB’s Benjamin Millepied – who was elevated to principal in May – was pirouetting before he was 5. But unlike most, the aptly named, 25-year-old French native cut his teeth on modern and African – which made for a lot of catching up when he began his classical training at 12. “I think that’s where that hunger comes from,” says Sean Lavery, a company ballet master. “He never fakes it or takes it easy; he goes full out all the time.”
Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
(Opens November 29).