Birgit Keil was born in Kovanov in the Sudetenland (today's Czech Republik).' In 1961, she joined the ballet company of the Wurttemberg State Theatre in Stuttgart under the direction of John Cranko'where she advanced to principal dancer.
She has won international acclaim through her work with the ensemble as well as through guest solo performances. Famous choreographers were inspired by her interpretation of the great ballerina parts in the classical repertoire and her lyrical technique and created ballets specifically for her: John Cranko, Kenneth MacMillan, Peter Wright, Glen Tetley, Jin Kylian, John Neumeier, Heinz Spoerii, Uwe Scholz and Marcia Haydee.
The artist was honoured with numerous awards, among them the Order of Merit 1 st grade of the Federal Republic of Germany (1985) as well as the German Dance Prize (1998). She was awarded the title Kammertanze-rin in 1980. In autumn 1995, Birgit Keil drew the curtain on her active stage career with a farewell gala in Stuttgart. At the same time she founded the Birgit Keil Dance Foundation.
This Stuttgart-based foundation promotes stage dance by giving young professional dancers the opportunity to work directly with choreographers on the composition and performance of ballets. In addition to this, the foundation awards solarships to talented young students. The main aim of the foundation is to support young dancers on the threshold between training and a professional career.
In January 1997, Birgit Keil made her acting debut in the play Das Geschopf (The Creature), which was written for her by Geza Revay.
In March of the same year, she was awarded the title of professor by the prime minister of Baden-Wurttemberg. Birgit Keil currently teaches at the Dance Academy of the State University for Music and Performing Arts.