In 2009 Ilya Ustyantsev graduated from the Dostoevsky Omsk State University with honours, having specialised as a teaching choreographer. In 2015 he graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory, specialising as a choreographer and stage director (class of Georgy Kovtun).
From 2003 to 2009 Ustyantsev was a ballet soloist of the Omsk State Music Theatre. He joined the St Petersburg Palace of Studying Youth as a teacher and choreographer in 2011. Ustyantsev has worked as a teacher and stage director at the St Petersburg Conservatory since 2016. He has also worked as a teacher and stage director at the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia since 2018.
As a choreographer Ilya Ustyantsev worked on productions of The Lefthander (2013), Eugene Onegin (2013), The Queen of Spades (2015), A Christmas Tale (2015), Die Fledermaus (2020), The Maid of Orleans (2021) (all staged by Alexei Stepanyuk), L’elisir d’amore (2013) (staged by Alexander Petrov), Adriana Lecouvreur (2017) (staged by Isabelle Partiot-Pieri), The Diary of Anne Frank (2017) (staged by Mstislav Pentkovsky) at the Mariinsky Theatre.
As a choreographer and assistant director Ustyantsev worked on many productions at the Mariinsky Theatre: Carmen (new director’s version of the 2005 production), The Story of Kai and Gerda, Scenes from the Life of Nikolenka Irteniev, White Nights, The Idiot, The Little Prince (all staged by Alexei Stepanyuk) in 2016; Murych the Cat staged by Alexei Stepanyuk and Brundibár staged by Mstislav Pentkovsky in 2017.
At the Mariinsky Theatre he also took part in the preparation of concert programmes of the International Women’s Forum (2015) and the gala opening of the 6th St Petersburg International Cultural Forum (2017).
As a choreographer and assistant director Ustyantsev took part in the production of Eugene Onegin at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladivostok, 2014) and the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania Branch of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladikavkaz, 2018), as well as Brundibár (2017), Aida (2018) and Die Fledermaus (2021) at the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania Branch of the Mariinsky Theatre.
In 2018 Ustyantsev staged the ballet Tango Without You to Astor Piazzolla’s music at the Mariinsky Theatre branch in Vladikavkaz.
In 2022 he was one of the directors of the reconstruction of the Polish act and the new version of the epilogue of the opera A Life for the Tsar, the director and choreographer of the opera Don Pasquale (1980 production revival) at the Mariinsky Theatre.
Director and choreographer of the rock show Wings of Gryphon (2018) of the Concord Orchestra at St Petersburg’s Ice Palace.
Ustyantsev has collaborated with theatres in St Petersburg, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk and Omsk as well as in Almaty (Kazakhstan).