2021 Premiere AFTERLIFE: Dancing the Club in March at beautiful crazy new venue we’re not allowed to talk about yet in Basel. The virtuosic dance duet about grief will feature a group of local “invisible dancers” and Basel DJ Duo Schwifi. Further performances in Switzerland and the USA in negotiation.


2020 Tom and Lillian two of four Director/Choreographers in the collective creating ALIVE.SAISONSCHLUSS-20, a production for Corona times at Theater Lübeck initiated by the innovative Opera Director Dr. Katharina Kost-Tolmein. Live and virtual Premiere June 13, 2020. STREAMING ONLINE FREE until July 2020.

2020 #DISTANCERAVE livens up isolation. Train tracks, living rooms, fields, riverbanks, playgrounds and the line at bakery become your personal dance floors. Get away from your screen, grab your headphones and get your groove on to music from the Make Some Room Playlist by Swiss electronic music producers created in response to the Covid-19 crisis.   

2020 Tom directs JUNGLE at Theater Luzerne, the world’s first Brass Opera. Photos

2020 Lillian works in Denmark for the first time, realizing a long-term wish to integrate movement and opera singing as closely as possible in Monteverdi’s ORPHEUS at the Royal Danish Opera. Opernwelt Magazine calls it a production of “European ranking.”

2020 Tom’s 30-year collaboration with the famous clown duo Ursus & Nadeschkin is celebrated in the documentary “Stopping Would be Easy: Ursus & Nadeschkin” on SRF TV in Switzerland.

2020 Three of Tom’s premieres are cancelled due to COVID. Hopefully they will live on in the fall. Fingers crossed!

2020 SNOW is founded for the creation and development of independent productions by Tom and Lillian in Basel, Switzerland. Rehearsals for AFTERLIFE: Dancing the Club begin as Artist-in-Residence at Braswell Art Center in Basel. Collaboration with Basel DJ Duo Schwifi begins.


2019 Lillian returns to the Twin Cities, MN, USA for a three-month sabbatical. She is a guest lecturer at her alma mater, the University of Minnesota Dance Program, teaches at St. Olaf College and TU Dance Company and School, and re-connects to many artists, dance-makers, presenters, colleagues, family and friends.

2019 Tom directs the Swiss Dance Awards in Fribourg and is a guest lecturer at the University of the Arts in Bern, Switzerland (HdKB).

2019 The idea for AFTERLIFE is born. Lillian hosts Dance Jams in Berlin and Basel to research how individual expression emerges out of rhythmic mass movement and begins collaborating with Swiss electronic music producer Gaspard de la Montagne.

2019 CORO FANTASTICO , Theater Heidelberg. A new, immersive evening is created by the team to highlight the opera chorus. Performances play on two stages simultaneously and feature a surprise when 250 people from the audience face the other half , allowing the audience to directly participate in the performance. The cast includes five dancers, the opera chorus, 50 singers from the Heidelberg region, the theater technicians and an enormous technical crew. All performances, including standing-room tickets are sold out for the entire run.


2018 Lillian is commissioned by the Philharmonie Luxembourg to create SILBERLICHT , a dance duet with Ensemble Diderot from Paris. The premiere in 2019 features classically trained contemporary dancers interacting with the baroque musicians in a magical landscape of light.

2018 LAZARUS , Theater Bremen. Performances of the David Bowie musical run for three years.

2018 Tom begins work on the three-year production EXCLUSIVE FOR EVERYONE at Theater Basel, a large-scale performance featuring lay people from Basel in their performance of dance, poetry, drawing, music, theater, stage fighting and singing. He is supported by a team of local workshop leaders and designers across the disciplines.


2017 Tom is a guest professor at the Hamburg University for the Arts (HfMT), coaching young opera directors in the creation of their third-year productions.

2017 The idea for SNOW is born.

2017 Lillian works in Austria for the first time at Opera Graz. Her “War Carousel” choreography which opens the second act of THE TROUBADOR to a rhythmic soundscape of anvils, is received with both boos and praise.

2017 MASS , Theater Lübeck. Opera Director Katharina Kost-Tolmein has the vision to program Bernstein’s massive production before the rest of the German-speaking theater world catches on to the idea. The wildly successful production features classical ballet dancers, opera, blues, musical and rock singers, choruses, children and a full classical orchestra plus a blues band and a rock band in classical ballet dancers, opera, blues, musical and rock singers, choruses, children and a full classical orchestra plus a blues band and a rock band in a cast of over 200 . Performances play sold-out for two years.

2017 Lillian is a Guest Choreographer at Choreolab Europe, Basel. Her workshop for professionals explores compositional methods for choreography from an interdisciplinary perspective. Together with Tom and musician Martin O. they offer improvisation methods that simultaneously call on musical, acting and dancing skills.


2014 – 2016 Tom’s THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO celebrates its premiere in Fribourg, Switzerland before traveling to Lausanne and Toulouse, Tours and Toulon, France. Tom performs as Bassa Selim, stepping on stage as an actor for the first time since 1996.

2016 JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR , Theater Basel plays 30 sold-out performances. Contemporary dancers from the Basel region, the opera chorus, young singers from Basel's Gospel am Münster chorus and top-class musical performers are seamlessly integrated . Tom is nominated for Best Stage Direction, Lillian for Best Choreography and the entire team for Best Production of the year by Musicals Magazine. Applause for director Tom Ryser for making the rock-opera Jesus Christ Superstar relevant in our time and mercilessly pimping up its feminist content. – Neue Zürcher Zeitung


2015 KISS ME KATE, Staatstheater Kassel. Lillian choreographs for the ensemble she came from NYC to join and danced in for six seasons. The dance marathon Too Darned Hot features dancers, chorus, extras and soloists , one of whom was Pat, a 73 year-old former ballet dancer. Tom put the cherry on the top with slapstick.

2015 THE FAIRY QUEEN , Theater Lübeck. A new, interdisciplinary version features actors, singers, contemporary dancers, opera chorus and children in a radical re-imagining of the Purcell semi-opera . Sold-out performances play for 3 years.


2014 LA FINTA GIARDINIERA, Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken featuring an orchestra on a rotating stage and a tribe of kids. For the first time, Lillian and Tom make a dance piece out of an opera .

2014 Lillian choreographs the witches in MACBETH, provoking lust, disgust and voyuristic curiosity at Staatstheater Kassel.


2013 Tom creates OPERATION ORCHESTRA, an immersive opera without singers based on Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the industrial building that houses the Cultural Cathedral St. Ingbert for the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken.

2013 FAME, Theater Basel with a cast of musical performers and young dancers and actors from Basel . Sold-out for over 30 performances.

2013 EVITA celebrates a widely successful premiere at the Staatstheater Kassel, poetically re-imagining Eva Perón’s rise to power poetically re-imagining Eva Perón’s rise to power as a transformation into the black swan .


2012 Lillian retires from her 15-year professional dance career. Rehearsals begin for Lillian and Tom’s first production together, EVITA, with designers Silvia Merlo & Ulf Stengl, costumes designer Uta Meenen and conductor Yoel Gamzou.


2011 Lillian and Tom are introduced.