Kiril Kulish

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Kiril Kulish
Kiril Kulish.jpg
Kulish in 2012
Kiril Jacob Kulish

(1994-02-16) February 16, 1994 (age 24)
OccupationActor, dancer, singer
Years active2008–present

Kiril Jacob Kulish (born February 16, 1994) is an American actor, dancer, and singer who is best known for portraying the title role in the original American production of Billy Elliot the Musical.

Early life[edit]

Kulish was born in San Diego, California on February 16, 1994. His parents, Raisa Kulish and KIrk Kulish are immigrants from the Ukraine. His older brother, Victor, is a singer/songwriter and recording engineer, and his older sister Beata is a TV/film producer.[1][2] He grew up speaking Russian, Ukrainian, and English.[3] He started studying ballet at age five and ballroom dancing at age 8. He studied at the San Diego Academy of Ballet, and was the youngest male to be admitted to their junior company.[4] Kiril was the winner of the Junior division Grand Prix at the Youth America Grand Prix in 2006, 2007, and 2008 [5] and won the Hope Award in the Pre-Competitive division in 2006.[6] Kiril Kulish won first place in Latin Ballroom at the USA National Dance Championships in 2006 and 2007.[7] In 2012 and 2013 Kiril Kulish became the Youth USA Champion in Latin Dance Sport and will represent USA in Beijing and Paris .

Billy Elliot the Musical[edit]

At a press launch in New York on April 22, 2008, it was announced that Kulish would be one of three boys to play the title role in the original Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical, along with David Álvarez and Trent Kowalik. Kulish performed in the musical's first preview performance on October 1, 2008.[8] On June 7, 2009, Kulish, along with Trent Kowalik and David Álvarez, won the Tony Award for best leading actor in a musical.[9] In all, Billy Elliot was nominated for 15[10] Tony Awards, and won 10,[11] including Best Musical and Best Book. Kulish's last performance in Billy Elliot was on Saturday October 3, 2009.[12]

Other work[edit]

In late 2009, Kulish performed the lead role in the ballet The Nutcracker.[13] In 2010, he attended the ballroom championship at USA Dance Southwest Regional Championship in Long Beach, CA. On October 27, 2012, Kiril performed alongside Jon Secada, Debbie Gravitte, Liz Callaway, and a host of award-winning singers from around the world in Loving the Silent Tears: A New Musical at the Shrine Theater in Los Angeles.[14] In 2016, Kulish joined season 22 of Dancing with the Stars as a professional dancer in their troupe. Kulish currently resides in San Diego, Los Angeles, and New York.

Stage credits[edit]

Year Title Role Theatre Note
1 October 2008-
3 October 2009
Billy Elliot: The Musical
Imperial Theatre
Broadway debut
2009 holiday season
The Nutcracker Occidental Grand Aruba
Palm Beach
27 October 2012
Loving the Silent Tears Shrine Auditorium
Los Angeles, California


Year Award Category Role Show Result Ref.
2009 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Billy Elliot Billy Elliot the Musical Won [11]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Kulish Official site, accessed March 11, 2009
  5. ^ Youth America Grand Prix listing, 2007
  6. ^ Youth America Grand Prix listing, 2006
  7. ^ Kulish Official site, accessed December 25, 2012
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "'Billy Elliot' Leads Tony Nominations". Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Tony Awards Official Website - Past Winners 2009". Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^

External links[edit]