Jiří Kylián (Czechoslovakia, 1947) started his dance career at the age of nine, at the School of the National Ballet in Prague. In 1962 he was accepted as a student at the Prague Conservatory. He left Prague when he received a scholarship for the Royal Ballet School in London in 1967. After this, he left to join the Stuttgart Ballet led by John Cranko and made his debut as a choreographer.
He became artistic director of the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1975. That same year, together with Carel Birnie, he founded Nederlands Dans Theater II; he also initiated Nederlands Dans Theater III in 1991, the company for older dancers, above forty years of age. Jiří Kylián has created nearly 100 works of which many are performed all over the world, also for the Stuttgart Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet and the Tokyo Ballet.
In the summer of 2006, together with Film Art Director, Boris Paval Conen, he created the film CAR-MEN. In 2013, together with NTR, he worked together with Boris Paval Conen again and created the film Between Entrance & Exit which was nominated as one of the contestants for the ‘Gouden Kalf’ award during the Dutch Film Festival 2013. For the Aichi Trienale in Nagoya, Japan, he created the full-evening dance/film production, East Shadow.
Kylián received many international awards including: ‘Commandeur dans l’ordre pour ‘Les Arts et lettres’ in Paris, ‘Honorary Doctorate’ – Julliard School New York, three “Nijinsky Awards” – Monte Carlo (best choreographer, company and work), “Benois de la Danse” – Moscow, and the Medal of the Order of the House of Oranje Nassau given to him by Her Majesty the Queen Beatrix from the Netherlands. In 2011, Kylián received the Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of dance and theater by the Czech Ministry of Culture in Prague.
For Aterballetto he restaged the ballet Heart’s Labyrinth in 2001 and in November 2015 the pas-de-deux 14’20’’.
In 2018 he restages Sarabande within Bach Project.