Kiril Kulish

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Kiril Kulish
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Kiril Jacob Kulish

(1994-02-16) February 16, 1994 (age 25)
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

Kulish was born in San Diego, California on February 16, 1994. His parents, Raisa Kulish and Phil Axelrod, are Jewish immigrants from Ukraine. [1] His older brother, Victor, is a singer/songwriter and recording engineer, and his older sister Beata is a TV/film producer. [2] [3] He grew up speaking Russian, Ukrainian, and English. [4] 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. [5] Kiril was the winner of the Junior division Grand Prix at the Youth America Grand Prix in 2006, 2007, and 2008 [6] and won the Hope Award in the Pre-Competitive division in 2006. [7] Kiril Kulish won first place in Latin Ballroom at the USA National Dance Championships in 2006 and 2007. [8] 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

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. [9] On June 7, 2009, Kulish, along with Trent Kowalik and David Álvarez, won the Tony Award for best leading actor in a musical. [10] In all, Billy Elliot was nominated for 15 [11] Tony Awards, and won 10, [12] including Best Musical and Best Book. Kulish's last performance in Billy Elliot was on Saturday October 3, 2009. [13]

Later Work

Film: Sonata (Pre-Production) Landon Goldberg

Crossing Young Andrei

Damaged Brad


Chasing Mem’ries Musical at the Geffen Playhouse starring Tyne Daly and Robert Forster


Dancing with the Stars Pro

HBO Anthology Series Secret Service Style Agent-Co Star

The 63rd Annual Tony Awards Himself

Good Morning America Himself

NBC Sports Special Himself

ABC The View Billy Elliot

ABC Live with Regis and Kelly Himself

ABC Live with Regis and Michael Himself

CBS Morning Show Himself

ABC Daytime Salutes BC/EFA Himself (Full List Available upon request)

Theater/Performance: “Baz — A Musical Tour de Force” Las Vegas (Baz Lehrman show)

In late 2009, Kulish performed the lead role in the ballet The Nutcracker. [14] 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. [15] 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

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


2009 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Billy Elliot Billy Elliot the Musical Won [12]

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