Born in Prague in 1947. Got his education in Prague Conservatoire and in Royal ballet school in London.
In 1968 he joined Stuttgart Ballet Company.
In 1970 he created his first choreographic piece to the music of Bartok. In 1973 he staged the first ballet for the Netherlands Dans Theatre. In 1977 he became the Artistic Director of the company. In 1999 he left that post, remaining the company's choreographer and artistic counselor. As a whole, Kylian has created about 50 compositions for this theatre, which brought him a total world fame and appreciation. In 1995 the 20-th anniversary of his staying at the head of the company was celebrated and his ballet Arcimboldo was shown.
Kylians productions were included into repertory of the worlds leading ballet companies — Paris, Stuttgart, New-York, Munich, London, Prague, etc. Jiri Kylian was twice awarded BENOIS DE LA DANSE Prize in 1993 and 1999. This year (2005) he has been nominated for the third time for the stage design of his ballet Il faut qu'une porte….