Kilian O’Callaghan grew up in Monkstown Co Cork, and attended the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance. While there, he trained with Irish Ballet Company, and performed in several Cork Ballet Company productions including The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, and La Sylphide.
Kilian attended the Royal Ballet School in London from 1980 to 1982. He then joined The Scottish Ballet in 1982, where he performed in all the major classics and toured extensively in Britain, Europe and further afield.
Kilian joined West Australian Ballet in 1986 and became a Principal Dancer with Royal New Zealand Ballet in 1988. With this company, he toured extensively in USA and Europe, as well as regular tours of New Zealand and Australia. He was very well known for his leading roles such as the Prince in The Nutcracker and in Cinderella, Albrecht in Giselle, and James in La Sylphide. His most popular roles were as the title roles in Hamlet and Wolfgang Amadeus (Mozart), and as Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet.
After retiring from fulltime dancing, Kilian completed a Bachelor of Education at Massey University, Wellington New Zealand. He has worked as an Education Specialist since graduation, first as Curriculum Developer with Nelson Polytechnic, and then progressing to Senior Manager of Course Approvals and Accreditation at New Zealand Qualifications Authority. In this role, Kilian was responsible for approving and accrediting education courses on behalf of the Government, for over 750 private training colleges and polytechnics.
When he returned home to Ireland in 2008, Kilian was appointed to Senior Programmes Manager in Quality Assurance at the Institute of Banking. He continues in that role, assuring that the training and examination provided for financial services students in Ireland maintain the standards required of such an organisation, which is a recognised college of University College Dublin.
Kilian continues to teach, coach and choreograph. He was a fulltime classical tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance in 1997 and 1998, and was Secretary of the New Zealand Association of Dance Teachers for many years. In 2001, he was Ballet Master for Ballet Ireland’s tour of The Nutcracker in Ireland and Britain. He works closely with Katherine Lewis and Irish National Youth Ballet, having choreographed several new works for them and restaging excerpts of The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.
(Appointed to the Board in October 2010.)