Following early ballet study in Pennsylvania with Marcia Dale Weary, Ms. Killian began her SAB training with the 1977 Summer Course, and was subsequently enrolled in SAB's Winter Term from 1979 to 1981. As a student, Ms. Killian participated in the New York City Ballet Education Department's Lecture Demonstration program, performing pas de deux from Balanchine's The Four Temperaments and The Nutcracker® for local-area school children under the direction of Suki Schorer. She was chosen by Peter Martins to dance a leading role in his new production of The Magic Flute for SAB's 1981 Workshop Performances and reprised the role as a new member of New York City Ballet the next year.
Teaching at SAB, 2004; © Ellen Crane
As the Sugarplum Fairy with Helgi Tomasson in GEORGE BALANCHINE's THE NUTCRACKER® at NYCB; © Steven Caras; Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Ms. Killian became a member of the New York City Ballet in 1981 and was promoted to Soloist in 1989.
Her repertory included principal roles in Balanchine's Bourée Fantasque, Divertimento from 'Le Baiser de la Fée', Tarantella, Symphony in C, Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3, Western Symphony, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®, Union Jack, Symphony in 3 Movements, and in Jerome Robbins's Goldberg Variations and The Four Seasons; and Peter Martins's Eight Easy Pieces and The Sleeping Beauty.
Among the ballets in which she performed soloist parts were Balanchine's Coppélia, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jewels, Scotch Symphony, Chaconne, Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, The Four Temperaments, La Sonnambula, Stars and Stripes, Raymonda Variations, and La Source.
Ms. Killian originated a principal role in Jerome Robbins's Ives, Songs in 1988.
In 1997, she joined the School of American Ballet as a guest teacher upon retirement from New York City Ballet. She was appointed to the faculty in 1998.
Ms. Killian currently also serves as Ballet Mistress for the New York City Ballet's Education Department, staging productions featuring SAB's Intermediate and Advanced students for NYCB's Ballet Bridges programs, which reach over 2,000 public school children each year.