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Lia Cirio

Springfield, Pennsylvania

Joined Boston Ballet in 2004

Lia Cirio in George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.2 © The George Balanchine Trust
Photo by:  Rachel Neville Photography


Lia Cirio began her training at Swarthmore Ballet Theatre with Lori Ardis. She went on to train at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary and Darla Hoover, where she also studied privately with Theresa Crawford and Rafael Grigorian.  

At 16, Cirio was invited by Mikko Nissinen to join Boston Ballet II. She was promoted to artist of the Company in 2004, to second soloist in 2006, and to soloist in 2007. From 2008 to 2009, Cirio toured with Trey McIntyre Project, performing throughout the United States and the world. Following her time with Trey McIntyre Project, she returned to Boston Ballet for the 2009-2010 season and was promoted to principal dancer in 2010.  

In 2003, Cirio was awarded a Level One award from the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts and was a Presidential Scholar in the Arts finalist. She was also awarded the top scholarship and Founder’s Award by Barbara Weisberger at the Regional Dance America Festival. She was Boston Ballet’s Princess Grace Nominee in 2004. Cirio was named in Dance Magazine’s first “On the Rise” feature article, and has been featured in additional articles in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, and on the cover of Pointe. She has been hailed as “one of the most accomplished actress-dancers in the company” by The Patriot Ledger, and as “an outstanding performer with tremendous stage presence” during Boston Ballet’s Spain tour. She has performed in galas around the world including in the Philippines with Ballet Manila and in Mongolia and Japan with United Ballet Company. She has performed at the Lincoln Center and at the Guggenheim in Sonya Tayeh’s Unveiling, as well as at Jacob’s Pillow in Ballet Coast to Coast. 

Cirio is the co-founder of Cirio Collective, where she serves as the Assistant Artistic Director, as well as a dancer. In 2018, Cirio made her choreographic debut with Sta(i)r(e)s during BB@home: ChoreograpHER. In 2019, she choreographed Lenore for the second ChoreograpHER installment, as well as …the peppermint wind for Boston Ballet School’s Next Generation. She choreographed Chesire for Ballet Academy East in New York City and Sabali for Festival Ballet Rhode Island. In 2022, Cirio had her Boston Ballet mainstage choreographic debut and premiered Chaptered in Fragments for the ChoreograpHER program.  

Her repertoire with Boston Ballet includes featured and/or principal roles in classics such as Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella (Cinderella, Winter Fairy); George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Apollo (Terpsichore), Prodigal Son, Chaconne, Coppélia, Jewels (Diamonds and Emeralds), Symphony in C (second movement), Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1st Aria), Theme and Variations, Divertimento No.15, Episodes, Who Cares?, Concerto Barocco, The Four Temperaments, Ballo de la Regina, La Valse, Serenade, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania, Divertissement Pas, Hippolyta, Helena), Agon, Piano Concerto No. 2, and Kammermusik No. 2; Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias (Olympe); Florence Clerc’s La Bayadère (Nikiya, Lead Shade) and Les Sylphides (the Sylph); Sorella Englund’s La Sylphide; Maina Gielgud’s Giselle (Myrtha, Peasant pas de deux); Harald Lander’s Études (the Ballerina); Vaslav Nijinsky’s Afternoon of the Faun (principal nymph); Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake (Odette/Odile, pas de trois, pas de cinq, Four Little Swans) and The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, Snow Queen, Arabian); Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote (Kitri, Mercedes, Queen of the Dryads); Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Lilac Fairy, Woodland Glade Fairy) and Paquita (principal role), Jean Coralli and Jule’s Perrot’s Giselle (adapted by Larissa Ponomarenko) (Giselle); along with numerous pas de deux. She has danced principal roles in Peter Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto; John Neumeier’s Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler; Justin Peck’s In Creases and Everywhere We Go; and Jerome Robbins’ Antique Epigraphs and Glass Pieces 

Her contemporary repertoire includes William Forsythe’s Second Detail, Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Artifact 2017, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Blake Works I and III (The Barre Project), Playlist (EP), Approximate Sonata, and Défilé; and Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura, Tar and Feathers, Falling Angels, Wings of Wax, and Sechs Tänza. She also has danced in pieces by Jeffrey Cirio, Alexander Ekman, Jorma Elo, Stephen Galloway, Wayne McGregor, Mark Morris, Helen Pickett, Claudia Schreier, Twyla Tharp, and Christopher Wheeldon, among others. She has originated numerous roles in many Elo and Pickett works. 

Position funded by Laura J. Sen