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 also works internationally as a freelance choreographer.

She comes from Minneapolis, MN where she completed her classical ballet training at Ballet Arts Minnesota before graduating with a BA in Dance from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She began her dance career as a Trainee with the Milwaukee Ballet and ended it at Staatstheater Kassel in Germany as a long-time dancer with Johannes Wieland.  She also worked with choreographers including Pam Tanowitz, Rootless Root, Yossi Berg / Oded Graf, Alexandra Beller and Emily Johnson.

While still a dancer in Kassel, Lillian received her first choreographic commissions in all departments.  Since 2013, her choreography has been seen throughout Europe in theaters including Theater Basel, Opera Graz, Opera Zurich, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Royal Opera Copenhagen and the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, as well as at numerous city and state theaters in Germany. Her work includes dance evenings, interdisciplinary productions and operas as well as experimental projects realized with her company SNOW productions in Basel, Switzerland from 2019 – 2022.

Lillian’s signature choreographic language unites physical and emotional virtuosity with precise musicality.  She works closely with the musical score and the individual and collective potential of the dancers to tell stories in which we recognize ourselves.

Lillian is an active and passionate advocate for new leadership models in dance.  She is completing the Executive Master in Arts Administration at the University of Zurich, is a Mentor in the Initiative for Women in Leadership of the German Cultural Council’s Culture & Media Department and was a panelist at the Dance Congress in Mainz 2022.  Her interest in innovation and sustainability in dance shape her tenure at Theater Münster.  Under her direction, the company builds on the city’s rich dance heritage while looking toward the future in the dance field. 

Following the critically acclaimed, sold-out run of her opening production, FURIEN, Tanz Münster under Lillian Stillwell’s direction has diversified and increased audiences through new outreach formats, initiated interdepartmental collaborations, built institutional partnerships in the city and region, and received widespread recognition for its sustainability measures.

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
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