Academy of Dance

Director: Prof. Birgit Keil




The art of dance has developed through its dynamic tradition, with experienced artists passing on all their knowledge as teachers to the upcoming generation of performers.

It was artists, teachers and choreographers who both stretched and encouraged me, not only in terms of technical skills but also with regard to my abilities as an artist, ultimately shaping my life and career as a ballerina.

As Director of the Academy of Dance of the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts, I am now keen to pass on these experiences to our students.

It is very important for me and my teaching staff that it is not only dance techniques that our students learn to master. By working together with choreographers and studying the classical academic repertoire, we offer students the opportunity to discover and develop their own artistic personality and sense of individuality. This prepares them for the wide-ranging classical and modern demands in technique that they will face from ballet and theatre companies on both German and international stages. Performances at various theatres and tours by the Academy of Dance both at home and abroad give students the chance to gain valuable stage exposure right from the first year of study, enabling them to experience the variety and energy of all aspects of dance.

The Academy of Dance is thus continuing a tradition that began at the court of Elector Carl Theodor in 1762. In view of its European significance, it has earned its name of “The Mannheim School of Dance” with parallels to the “The Mannheim School” (Mannheimer Schule) in the history of music.

Living alongside this tradition and having the honour today to contribute towards the city of Mannheim, which independent of Noverre spread its own ideas on the reform of theatrical ballet all over the world, is not only a pleasure for me but something to which I am deeply committed.


Birgit Keil