Choreographer and set designer Stijn Celis grew up in Zaire (now the
Democratic Republic of the Congo). When his family moved to Belgium, he began his dance training at the Koninklijke Balletschool in Antwerp. As a dancer, he performed with the Royal Ballet of Flanders, the Zurich Ballet, Contemporary Dance Zurich, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Cullberg Ballet. Celis began his career as a choreographer when, at the invitation of Mats Ek, he choreographed the opening performance of the Holland Festival in 1997. Since then, he has created work for Cullberg Ballet, Ballet Gulbenkian, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet Nürnberg, Bern Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, IT Dansa, Ballet Mainz, Diversions (now National Dance Company Wales), The Iceland Dance Company, Sujet a Vif (Festival d'Avignon), Nederlands Dans Theater II, and Ballet Wiesbaden. He was Artistic Director of the Bern Ballet from 2004-2007. This year found him choreographing Henze's Ondine for Aalto Ballet. Celis resides in Switzerland.
Contemporary Program Guest Artist Choreographer • July 11-17, 2011