Cecilia Iliesiu (she/her) is from New York, New York. She studied at the School of American Ballet and also with Francois Perron and Deborah Wingert at Studio Maestro. She attended summer courses at Boston Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Chautauqua Institute, San Francisco Ballet School, and William Forsythe’s ART of workshop under Kathryn Bennetts. Cecilia joined Carolina Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2009 and was promoted to soloist in 2014. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2015, was promoted to soloist in 2020 and principal in 2022.
Cecilia has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena, Hippolyta), George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Sugar Plum Fairy, Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Dewdrop) and Rubies; Alejandro Cerrudo’s One Thousand Pieces and Silent Ghost; David Dawson’s Empire Noir; Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven and Red Angels; William Forsythe’s New Suite and One Flat Thing; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Fairy of Wit); Alonzo King’s The Personal Element; Jessica Lang’s Ghost Variations; José Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon (The Exotic) and Roméo et Juliette (Lady Capulet, Rosaline); Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements and Appassionata; Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus; Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Jerome Robbins’ The Concert; Price Suddarth’s Signature; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella (Stepmother, Autumn, Winter) and Swan Lake (Persian, Solo Swan, Spanish Dance); Twyla Tharp’s Afternoon Ball and Waiting at the Station (Golden Girl); and Christopher Wheeldon’s Tide Harmonic. She originated leading roles in Donald Byrd’s Love and Loss and Untitled, Jessica Lang’s Her Door to the Sky, Nia-Amina Minor’s And yet here we are, Amanda Morgan’s This Space Left Intentionally Blank, Eva Stone’s F O I L, and Price Suddarth’s The Intermission Project.
At Carolina Ballet, Cecilia danced leading and featured roles in George Balanchine’s Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, The Four Temperaments, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Rubies; Marius Petipa’s Giselle; Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free; Christopher Stowell’s Rite of Spring; and Robert Weiss’ Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. She also originated numerous roles in ballets by Zalman Raffael and Robert Weiss.
In 2018, Cecilia choreographed A Meditation for NEXT STEP. In 2022, she was featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, and traveled to Nigeria to perform and lead a 5-day teaching workshop.
Cecilia holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Studies from Fordham University. This degree was funded in part by Second Stage, PNB’s career transition program for dancers.