Skip to main content
Petur Iliev

Petur Iliev

Lecturer / Dance // Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance

Lecturer // Dance // Rueff School

Office and Contact

Room: PAO 1105


Phone: (765)-496-2971



Petur Iliev is a graduate of the Bulgarian National School of Dance Art and holds a B.A. from the Bulgarian National Institute of Choreography in Sofia, Bulgaria. He began his professional career as a Principal Dancer of the Kutev National Dance and Music Ensemble before continuing his training at the National Dance Institute in New York where he studied under the guidance of Jacques d’Amboise. Afterwards he served as the Artistic Director of Westwind — one of the first dance companies in the US whose mission was to present to the American audience the richness and diversity of ethnic dance. In 2003 Iliev joined the summer faculty of the renowned School of Pacific Northwest Ballet and two years later was hired by the School of Ballet Chicago. Most recently he taught at Kansas City Ballet School. All along he has been conducting master classes and creating choreography for professional and non-professional dance companies in the U.S. and Canada. With this invaluable experience in hand he resumed his activity in Bulgaria in 2008 through the various programs of his foundation established in the same year. The Iliev Dance Art Foundation has since been running several highly successful educational programs: Spring and Summer Intensives featuring five different dance styles, a solid scholarship program for summer training in the US, and a program for children, targeting youth from underserved communities.

In his choreography Petur Iliev reaches to the core of European ethnic dance and unlocks its structure, unleashing its potential as contemporary means of expression by enriching it with the vocabulary of ballet and contemporary technique. In this endeavor he has creatively collaborated with distinguished American choreographers like Christian von Howard, Theresa Ruth Howard and Paula Weber, as well as with some of the most prolific contemporary European composers, who have written music specifically for his productions: Petar Ralchev, Peyo Peev, Nedyalko Nedyalkov, Svetoslav and Vladimir Karparov, Konstantin and Alexander Wladigeroff and Stoyan Yankoulov. Some highlights of his choreography include: Click (2013, a full-length children’s show); 5x5+1 (2014, a conceptual, interdisciplinary project); A Swallow's Flight (2014, a joyful production for kids); Who Stole the Chips? (2015, a colorful detective story); Outside the Frame (2015, a combination of different art forms); Where Are the Elephants? (2017, a new phantasmagorical invention).