Ma Cong was named Richmond Ballet’s Associate Artistic Director in June 2020. He has been widely recognized by the dance world as a bold, bright, and inspired artist and choreographer. Critics have described his choreography as being powerful and passionate. Ma started his dance career at the Beijing Dance Academy, where he trained in the art of Chinese classical dance, he danced with The National Ballet of China from 1995 until 1999, prior to his move to the USA.
As a choreographer, Ma was described by The Washington Post as “Powerful” and Houston’s En Pointe as having “swiftly risen to become one of America’s most exciting choreographers.” Ma has created many original works for ballet companies worldwide, such as Queensland Ballet in Australia, The National Ballet of China, and Singapore Ballet. His first creation for Richmond Ballet Ershter Vals was performed for sold out audiences at the Royal Opera House in London in 2012 and at The Kennedy Center in 2015. Also in 2015, Ma’s creation Lift the Fallen was included in Richmond Ballet’s Road to China program for its five-city tour through China. His New York City balletic premiere was in 2017 when Richmond Ballet performed his Lift the Fallen at The Joyce Theater.
Among his many personal and professional achievements, Ma was named one of the “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2006 for his dancing and choreography works as well as The Choo-San Goh award in 2007. In 2008, Ma was the winner of the 21st Century Choreographic competition and also received the “Audience Favourite” and “Editor’s Choice Award” from Pointe Magazine. In 2013, Ma was named as one of Joffrey Ballet’s “Choreographers of Color Award” winners. For other achievements, Ma made his Broadway debut in 2017 while working with Julie Taymor on the revival of David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play M. Butterfly, starring Clive Owen. In 2018 Ma’s Glass Figures premiered at The Joyce Theater in New York and received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. Same year, Ma was invited to be the choreographer for a collaborative choreographic project between Royal Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, his work On the First Star of the Night was premiered both in London and New York. In 2019, His most recent world premiere, a full-length creation for Tulsa Ballet, Tchaikovsky – The Man Behind the Music, is celebrated as one of his greatest achievements as an artist and storyteller. Ma and his husband Thomas Landrum, plus their twin sons Mason and Thomson have moved to Richmond permanently since 2022 to start their exciting new chapter.
Our professional company is made up of elite dancers from around the world who have helped earn Richmond Ballet critical acclaim. Dance/USA says Richmond Ballet is “a jewel among U.S. dance companies,” while The Washington Post calls it “a company to which dance fans everywhere ought to pay attention.” We’re proud of all that our company dancers bring to Richmond, and the world.
Richmond Ballet II, our second performing company, is comprised of talented young dancers between the ages of 18 and 22. RBII members perform their own diverse repertoire on tour across the Commonwealth as well as alongside the main company in mainstage productions.
RBII Apprentices are the top level of the Pre-Professional Division of School of Richmond Ballet. They receive an intensive training program, full scholarship, living stipend and are the bridge to RBII, our second company. Their time is divided between RBII rehearsals and the Trainee Program, performing in Lecture Demonstrations, Richmond Ballet Company mainstage performances and the end of season showcase performance with RB Trainees.
Richmond Ballet II Apprentices
Seated (L-R): Gianna DeMassio, Rachel Nash
Standing (L-R): Michael Duncan, Hannah MacLeod, Darius Mealy
Founded in 1993, the nationally recognized Richmond Ballet Trainee Program offers select advanced students a transitional experience to bridge the gap between the academic ballet setting and the world of professional dance. The Richmond Ballet Trainee Program is one of the few in this country that enables aspiring dancers to pursue formal dance training and gain valuable performance experience with a professional company.
Richmond Ballet Trainees - Second and Third Years
First Row- Senior Trainees: Kennady Jackson, Sarah Shaw, Gabrielle Goodson
Second Row: Katrina May Thomas, Sheridan Brown, Anna Orzulak, Parker Edmondson, Kendall Taylor, Ella Warren
Third Row: Carter Bush, Gavin Haas, Cade Bolz, Garrett Janiak, Daniel Miller
Richmond Ballet Trainees - First Year
First Row: Anne Pearson Gremer, Kristen Soyars Green, Isabella Vanik
Second Row: Gillian Carr, BriAnna Binzak, Savannah Wyatt, Claire Kehoe, Alexis Dawson, Kinsey Phelps, Chelsea Hacking
Third Row: Kiera Luci Dulog, Gillian Grossman, Oliver Gardner, Sydney Stutzman, Benjamin Piner
The Artistic Staff at Richmond Ballet is made up of international professionals who each bring incredible talent, expertise, and credentials to their respective roles. With impressive backgrounds and world experience, they offer a unique perspective that has helped shape our organization over the years. For over 40 years, Stoner Winslett has served as the founding Artistic Director of Richmond Ballet, the first major company of professional dancers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is one of the longest tenured artistic directors of a major ballet company and one of the country’s few female artistic directors. In June 2020, acclaimed choreographer Ma Cong joined Richmond Ballet as its first ever Associate Artistic Director.