Alexander Iziliaev, Principal Dancer of Pennsylvania Ballet, Joins Faculty of Metropolitan Ballet Company’s Boys’ Scholarship Dance Program

September 10th, 2009 |

Metropolitan Ballet’s acclaimed Boys’ Scholarship Program celebrates 10th anniversary year

Jenkintown, PA — Metropolitan Ballet Company (MBC) welcomes Alexander Iziliaev, a principal dancer of Pennsylvania Ballet, to the faculty of the Company’s nationally recognized Boys’ Scholarship Dance Program. Mr. Iziliaev will join long-time MBC faculty members William DeGregory, renowned Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer and current Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet II; and Andrew Pap, chair of ballet at the University of the Arts. More than 55 boys will participate in the MBC program again this year.

Born and raised in Sterlitamak, Russia, Alexander Iziliaev began his ballet training at age 11 at The Perm Ballet School. Upon graduating in 1992, he won the Moscow International Competition and the Perm Competition. Traveling to the United States that same year, he joined Hartford Ballet, where he was immediately cast in principal roles. Mr. Iziliaev also originated many roles in Kirk Peterson ballets, and continued his training with Truman Finney. In 1995 he was invited by Peter Martins to join New York City Ballet, where his extensive repertoire of featured roles included George Balanchine’s Tarantella, Allegro Brillante, and The Four Temperaments; and Peter Martins’ Fearful Symmetries. Mr. Iziliaev also originated roles in Kevin O’Day’s Badchonim and Richard Tanner’s Schoenberg/Wuorinen Variations.

Mr. Iziliaev joined Pennsylvania Ballet in September 2000 as a principal dancer. His roles with the company have included Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppélia, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew, Prince Ivan in The Firebird, and Frederick in Dracula. He has also danced principal roles in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Raymonda Variations, Agon, Serenade, The Nutcracker, and Western Symphony. Mr. Iziliaev has also performed in Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk; and has made numerous international appearances in London, Paris, Scotland, Brazil, and throughout South America.

The Boys’ Scholarship Program, a nonprofit outreach program of Metropolitan Ballet Company, provides tuition-free, boys-only classes for students ages seven to 18. Designed to enhance athletic skills, flexibility, and strength, the Boys’ Scholarship Program provides weekly classes in beginning, intermediate and advanced ballet and partnering, and features guest instruction in modern, jazz, and character dance. Eligible students in the program also enjoy performance opportunities, including an invitation to audition for Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Classes begin in September 2009 and continue through June 2010. No prior dance experience is required.

Founded by Lisa Collins Vidnovic in 1999 as a way to make ballet accessible to boys in the greater Philadelphia region, the acclaimed MBC Boys’ Scholarship Program is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Vidnovic, a former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist and Ballet Mistress, founded Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) in 1996 and MBC, a nonprofit, pre-professional performing company, in 2001. More than 150 boys have participated in the program in the decade since its founding.

The MBC Boys’ Scholarship Program is proud to be supported by generous grants from The Loeb Performing Arts Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, The Barra Foundation, Sam’s Club Foundation, Kohl’s Cares for Kids, and by many generous gifts from individual donors. Metropolitan Ballet Company is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

For more information about the Boys’ Scholarship Program, MBA classes for boys and girls, MBC performances, or donor opportunities, please call Lisa Collins Vidnovic at 215-663-1665 or visit