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 choreographer. Critics have described his choreography as being powerful and passionate. Having 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 joining Tulsa Ballet.
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 companies worldwide. 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. 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. His most recent world premiere, a full-length creation for Tulsa Ballet, Tchaikovsky – The Man Behind the Music, has been celebrated as one of his greatest achievements as an artist and storyteller.
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.
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.
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.
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.