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Phillip Velinov

Born in Bulgaria’s capital, Phillip began training at the National Ballet School in Sofia, later transferring to the Alabama School of Fine Arts on a full scholarship. Following graduation, he joined the Alabama Ballet and won the first full performing arts scholarship in the 150-year history of Birmingham-Southern College, completing B.A. in Dance with honors. Rumen Rashev, Dame Sonia Arova, Thor Sutowsky, Mira Popovich, Eldar Aliev, Vladilen Simeonov, Irina Kolpakova, Bruce Simpson, Alun Jones, and Helen Starr have all played an instrumental role in shaping Phillip as an artist. He was a soloist with Ballet Internationale (Indianapolis) prior to joining the Louisville Ballet as a principal dancer in 2006. He also performed as a guest artist with Kathryn Posin’s Dance Company in NYC in 2014 (Voices of Bulgaria and America). Phillip received diplomas at the 1998 and 2002 Varna International Ballet Competitions and won the 1998 Birmingham Fine Arts Society Award for Excellence in Dance. .

Repertoire highlights spanning three continents include a broad spectrum of roles: Albrecht (Giselle), Siegfried and Rothbart (Swan Lake), The Golden Slave (Scheherazade); Nutcracker, Cavalier, Drosselmeyer (The Brown-Forman Nutcracker); Chief of Thieves (A 1001 Nights), Benvolio and Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet), Nana the dog (Peter Pan), Basilio, Espada, Gamache, Lorenzo (Don Quixote), Carabosse (Sleeping Beauty), Doctor Coppélius (Coppélia); Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream); Balanchine’s AgonKammermusik No.2Theme and VariationsSquare Dance; the Red Man in Lila York’s Celts; Twyla Tharp’s “That’s Life” (Nine Sinatra Songs), Adam Hougland’s Ten Beautiful ObjectsPetrouchkaCold Virtues, and Andrea Schermoly’s Appalachian Spring,among others. Phillip also served as a founding teacher of the Male Division of the Clara Noise Ballet Academy in Indianapolis, and most recently assisted in staging A 1001 Nights at the Sofia National Ballet. This is Phillip’s 18th season with the Louisville Ballet, and he is happy to call Louisville home with his wife and colleague Natalia and their two children