LILLIAN STILLWELL is Dance Director and Chief Choreographer at Theater Münster, Germany since Season 2022/2023. 

Her first full-length dance evening in Münster, FURIEN (Premiere September 17, 2022), has been celebrated by audiences and acclaimed by critics.


Lillian Stillwell c. Tanja Hall for Theater Münster
MASS, Choreography Lillian Stillwell c. Olaf Malzahn for Theater Lübeck
AFTERLIFE by Lillian Stillwell & Tom Ryser c. Lucie Schrag for SNOW productions
FURIEN by Lillian Stillwell c. Christina Iberl für Theater Münster
FURIEN von Lillian Stillwell c. Christina Iberl für Theater Münster

Lillian Stillwell’s choreography has been seen throughout Europe and in the USA since 2009 at theaters and opera houses such as Theater Basel, Oper Graz, the Royal Danish Opera, Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Norwegian National Opera, Oper Zürich, the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, at numerous German city, state and national theaters and with her Basel-based company SNOW productions.

Lillian Stillwell grew up in Minneapolis, MN, received her classical training at Ballet Arts Minnesota and the Milwaukee Ballet, and completed a BA in Dance at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  She danced and toured with numerous choreographers in the USA and Europe, lastly from 2005 – 2012 with Johannes Wieland in New York City and at Staatstheater Kassel, Germany.

After choreographing many large-scale productions throughout Europe, she co-founded SNOW productions in Basel in 2019 with Tom Ryser.  The all-local company allowed for increased agility and cross-sector relationship building within the production cycle. In addition to performers, their collaborators included a second-hand clothing store, a gallery and a club.  Their immersive dance evening with live DJs AFTERLIFE – generously funded by the city of Basel and numerous private foundations – was performed to sold-out audiences on Gannet, a former lighthouse ship on the bank of the Rhein River.


Lillian Stillwell rehearsing c. Tanja Hall für Theater Münster
Lilliian Stillwell improvising with Theater Münster Tanz c. Hana Kato
Lillian Stillwell rehearsing at Theater Basel c. Jennifer Caron

Lillian Stillwell is actively engaged in  opening and demystifying  dance practice, developing sustainable production and performance methods and embodying new forms of dance leadership

Each of these aspects is central to her vision and leadership style at Theater Münster, where she is building on the long and rich tradition of artistic excellence to establish Tanz Münster as a place for sustainability and innovation. A recent portrait in TANZ – german-speaking Europe’s leading dance magazine – surveys her career while elaborating on her focus on sustainability in Münster.

In addition to choreographing, Lillian Stillwell is currently completing her  Executive Masters in Arts Administration at the University of Zürich, was recently invited to speak about new leadership structures in institutional European dance companies at  TanzKongress 2022 in Mainz and is a mentor in the German Cultural Department’s Initiative to increase the representation of  women in cultural leadership.


The 2022/23 season includes her dance evenings FURIEN and THE FOUR SEASONS and SILBERLICHT at Theater Münster  (More @tanzmuenster) as well as choreography for the Donizetti Trilogy produced at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, which be seen in Amsterdam, Valencia and Naples,  and her widely praised choreography for Monteverdi’s L’ORFEO in a revival at the Royal Danish Opera.

AFTERLIFE by Lillian Stillwell & Tom Ryser c. Christoph Xoff Pardey für SNOW productions
Lillian Stillwell und Stefanie Fischer and dancers in rehearsal c. Tanja Hall for Theater Münster
MASS Choreography by Lillian Stillwell c. Olaf Malzahn für Theater Lübeck

Lillian is a Mentor in the German Cultural Department’s Initiative to support  Women in Cultural Leadership Positions



Lillian joined other Dance Directors in  Germany for a Panel Discussion regarding ways to re-think dance in European institutions


Institutions, Dancers, Teams & Choreographers Lillian has worked with

Interview with Lillian Stillwell
on Leadership, Parenting and Dance for
by Katelyn Skelley