A native of Athens, Greece, Victoria Lyras received her training at the School of American Ballet under the guidance of Alexandra Danilova, Felia Doubrovska, Suki Schorer, Muriel Stuart and Stanley Williams. While studying at the School of American Ballet, Ms. Lyras performed children’s roles with the New York City Ballet. For her graduation performance, Ms. Lyras performed the role of the Polovetsian Girl in the Danilova/Balanchine staging of the Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor.
Upon graduation at age 17, Barbara Weisberger selected her for the Pennsylvania Ballet. During her association with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Lyras danced principal and/or soloist roles in the Balanchine repertoire: Concerto Barocco, Divertimento No. 15, Donizetti Variations, Pas de Dix, Raymonda Variations, Scotch Symphony, Stars and Stripes, Symphony in C, The Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, Who Cares? and Tarantella, in Benjamin Harkarvy’s Time Passed Summer, Madrigalesco and Grand Pas Espagnol, John Butler’s Carmina Burana, Pigtail and Competition Girl in David Lichine’s Graduation Ball, The Woman In His Past in Antony Tudor’s Jardin Aux Lilas, Emilia in Jose Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane, Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, Swanilda in Coppélia and created roles in Peter Anastos’ Domino, Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Ordinary Rhythms, and Dane LaFontsee’s Underlight. Ms. Lyras also danced the roles of Snow Queen and Dew Drop in the Pennsylvania Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.
In 1984, Ms. Lyras toured and performed with Edward Villella and Dancers, the Oklahoma City Ballet (dancing Odette in Balanchine’s Swan Lake Act II, partnered by Edward Villella), the Eglevsky Ballet (dancing Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the principal ballerina roles in Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Les Sylphides, and the Harrisburg Ballet (dancing Balanchine’s Pas de Dix and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, partnered by Scott Jovovich). Ms. Lyras appeared in the International Ballet Celebration gala performance in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she danced David McNaughton’s Gypsy and Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, partnered by Mr. McNaughton.
In 1996 Ms. Lyras joined the professional staff of the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers in New York City, and directed the ballet program designed exclusively for figure skaters. She has taught off-ice company classes for the Ice Theatre of New York. That same year she founded “Lyrical Designs”, in which she designs and executes competitive figure skating dresses, tutus, ballet costumes and headpieces.
Ms. Lyras founded the Indianapolis School of Ballet in August 2006. Since opening, the Indianapolis School of Ballet has performed eight seasons of repertoire choreographed or staged by Ms. Lyras. The schools distinguished production of The Nutcracker includes the magnificent Victorian parlor from the Historic Morris-Butler House Museum in Indianapolis for its Act I Party Scene setting, Robert Rodham’s Snow Scene and the “Grand Pas de Deux” from Mr. Balanchine’s production of The Nutcracker.
Beginning the semester of 2011, she has been teaching the ballet majors at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music as Adjunct Lecturer with Michael Vernon, Chair – Ballet Department and Violette Verdy, Distinguished Professor of Music (Ballet).