Stijn Celis grew up in Zaire, moved to Belgium in 1972 and then trained as a dancer at the Royal Ballet Flanders in Antwerp. The first time he was a guest of The Göteborg Opera was in 2009, with the creation Your Passion is Pure Joy to Me. In 1982, he was employed by the Royal Ballet Flanders, four years later moving to the Zurich Ballet. From 1992 to 1996, he was a dancer at the Ballet de Grand Theatre de Genève, where he also initiated his career as a choreographer. In 1997, Mats Ek invited him to choreograph a dance for the Holland Festival. In 1996-1997, he was a member of the Cullberg Ballet as a dancer, and he also created his first ballets Ubiloz Vanila and Fox.
When he retired from dancing in 1998 he returned to Antwerp where he studied stage design at the University College Department of Dramatic Arts. At the same time, commissions came in for choreography for a number of companies, such as Ballet Gulbenkian (Lisbon), Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Cullberg Ballet, NDT II, the Nuremberg State Theatre Ballet, the Bern Ballet. In 2004-2007 he was Artistic Director of Ballet at Stadttheater Bern in Switzerland where he created major ballets such as the Rite of Spring for Two Pianos, Swan Lake and Liaisons Dangereuses. In 2010, he created the ballet Undine for Opera House Aalto-teater in Essen with music by H-W Henze. In 2011, he created Looming Sky for GöteborgsOperans Danskompani. In 2012 he created Anima and in 2013 Orpheus's Gaze /Transfigured night for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. For the Royal Swedish Ballet he has created Mozart’s Mass in C Minor 2012 and for the Semperopera Ballett Dresden he has choreographed Romeo and Juliet in 2013 and R Strauss Josephs Legende in 2014. That same year he is appointed artistic director of the Ballett des Saarländisches Staatstheater where he currently works as resident choreographer, where he recently both choreographed and directed Rameau’s opera Platée (2015) and last year the musical West Side Story.