Joined Ballet Arizona: 2003
Training: Jordan Misja Choreographic Ballet School of Albania, Baku Choreographic University of Azerbaijan
Other Companies: Azerbaijan Opera Ballet, Carolina Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre
Ilir’s early exposure to folk dancing led him to ballet lessons at age 11 at the Jordan Misja Choreographic Ballet School of Albania. He graduated from the Baku Choreographic University of Azerbaijan, and then joined Azerbaijan Opera Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer. Ilir came to the United States in 1999 and, as a soloist with Carolina Ballet, danced in The Firebird, Coppélia, Carmina Burana, and Balanchine’s Who Cares?. Ilir performed as a soloist with Oregon Ballet Theatre for the 2007-2008 season, appearing in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and in Christopher Stowell’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He was also featured in Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, which he reprised at the Kennedy Center in June 2008. Since joining Ballet Arizona in 2003 Ilir has appeared in many of Ib Andersen’s original ballets; Preludes and Fugues, Play, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ilir has performed in Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, Coppélia, Raymonda, and Paquita. Ilir was featured in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Agon, and Serenade, and Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section. Ilir has danced principal roles in Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, and Fokine’s Les Sylphides. Ilir performed Andersen’s Diversions at the Kennedy Center in June 2010.