Cong, Ma - Richmond Ballet

Ma Cong

Artistic Director

Hometown: Beijing, China // Joined: 2020

Ma Cong was named Richmond Ballet's Artistic Director in July 2024 after serving four years as Associate Artistic Director. He has been widely recognized by the dance world as a bold, bright, and inspiring artist and choreographer. Ma started his dance career at the Beijing Dance Academy where he trained in the art of Chinese classical dance. He went on to dance with the National Ballet of China from 1995 until 1999 when he moved the United States. During his twenty-two-year career at Tulsa Ballet as both Principal Dancer and Resident Choreographer, Ma performed works by Duato, Kylián, Forsythe, Balanchine, Robbins, Stevenson, and Wheeldon to name a few. In addition, he created several original works for dance companies worldwide such as Queensland Ballet, Singapore Ballet, National Ballet of China and Richmond 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 Lift the Fallen at The Joyce Theater. Among his many personal and professional 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. Ma, alongside his husband, Thomas Landrum, and kids, Thompson and Mason have enjoyed making Richmond their home. Ma looks forward to leading Richmond Ballet towards a bright and inspiring future.

Our Artists

Company Dancers

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.

Aleksey Babayev
Courtney Collier
Michael Duncan
Celeste Gaiera
Celeste Gaiera
Mikell Graf
Colin Jacob
Colin Jacob
Khaiyom Khojaev
Khaiyom Khojaev
Jack Miller
Jack Miller
Eri Nishihara
Eri Nishihara
Zacchaeus Page
Naomi Robinson
Naomi Robinson
Izabella Tokev
Izabella Tokev
Ira White
Ira White

Studio Company

The Richmond Ballet Studio Company is the highest level of School of Richmond Ballet, featuring exceptional student dancers from across the country. The eleven-month program includes a diverse range of performance opportunities such as Lecture Demonstrations, Richmond Ballet Company mainstage performances, and the end-of-season showcase with the Richmond Ballet Trainees.


First Row
Avalon Kirby

Second Row (L-R):
Tekhylon Armour
Katrina May Thomas

Third Row (L-R):
Itay Krasnovsky
Hannah MacLeod
Josiah Lax
Rika Kinoshita
Darius Mealy
Kennady Jackson
Cade Bolz


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.


First Row (L-R):
Chelsea Hacking
Kate Swales
Genesis Robinson

Second Row (L-R):
Tess Moayedi
Eden Wilson
Isabella Vanik
Gillian Carr

Third Row (L-R):
Oliver Gardner
Alexis Dawson
Bella Ownby
BriAnna Binzak
Sydney Stutzman
Benjamin Piner

Artistic Staff

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.

Headshot of Richmond Ballet Artistic Director Stoner Winslett.
Stoner Winslett
Founding Artistic Director
Judy Jacob headshot, Artistic Associate & School Director.
Judy Jacob
Artistic Associate & Chairman of Faculty
Igor Antonov
Artistic Associate and Studio Company Director
Lauren Fagone
Artistic Associate
Erin Freeman
Erin Freeman
Resident Conductor