Tulsa Ballet’s 2017/18 Season begins August 25-27 with Tulsa Ballet II’s performance of On Your Radar

TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa Ballet II presents the annual production of On Your Radar, featuring three new works created exclusively for TBII by renowned choreographers Jennifer Archibald, Karen Castleman, and Tulsa Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Ma Cong. The program will take place Friday August 25th at 7:00pm and Sunday August 27th at 3:00pm in Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K Theater with an additional performance Saturday August 26th in the brand new Zarrow Performance Studio in Broken Arrow.

Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini says, “I am overjoyed by the success of our TBII program.  To date, ten of our main company dancers are TBII graduates and I hope to grow this number to be fifty percent of our main company members.  Last season’s group was the best in the history of the ensemble and this year looks to be just as good.  Most of the dancers are still in place since this is a two year program. The dancers replacing Tomoka Kawazoe and TyLeigh Baughman, who have now moved into the main company, are truly great talents.”

On Your Radar inspires the next level of innovation in dance by pairing young, talented choreographers with eager, aspiring dancers. As they mature, becoming the next generation of accomplished artists and dance makers, they ensure the ephemeral art form of dance continues to exist for future audiences.  Angelini says, “The success of this program is partly due to the high level of the dancers who compose the ensemble, dancers that come from both as close as Tulsa or Oklahoma City and as far as Brazil and Japan.  The other major reason for the accomplishment of the program is that it provides the opportunity for young dancers to work with choreographers of the caliber of Ma Cong, Jennifer Archibald and the likes.  Those are main companies’ Resident Choreographers and people that work all over the country and around the world. Their standards are very high and their works are very difficult.  By virtue of working with choreographers like them, the ensemble is challenged and nurtured to grow, producing great performances for our audience and great dancers for our company.”

About the Choreographers

Jennifer Archibald – Choreographer

Founder and Artistic Director of the Arch Dance Company and Program Director of ArchCore40 dance intensives. Jennifer is at the forefront of today’s dance generation of choreographers and dance educators. Having graduated from the Alvin Ailey School and the Maggie Flanigan Acting Conservatory where she specialized in the Meisner technique, she draws on a variety of techniques, experience and styles. She has presented Arch Dance Company nationally having been awarded two National Performance Network grants; and by special invitation to notable dance festivals country wide.

Jennifer has staged off-Broadway shows and has choreographed professional theater company musicals. She has worked with chart-listed musicians and actors as a movement specialist and choreographer. She is currently on faculty at STEPS on Broadway, Broadway Dance Centre, Ailey Extension, Gibney Dance and CAP 21 America’s Musical Theatre Conservatory in New York City.   She has been on faculty at the Bates Dance Festival, Broadway Theater Project and Florida Dance Festival, Complexions, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Howard University Intensives.

Karen Castleman – Choreographer

Karen Castleman is originally from Bakersfield, CA. She studied dance at Civic Dance Center as well as San Francisco Ballet School and Pittsburg Ballet Theatre School. She received her BA in dance from Belhaven College in Jackson, MS and has since served on faculty at Loyola University Chicago, The Academy of Music and Movement in Oak Park, IL, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s youth dance program, as well as dance institutions in Houston, Philadelphia, and Jackson, MS. She has taught ballet, contemporary, modern and jazz to students of all ages.

As a dancer, Karen has travelled extensively as a soloist with MOMIX and as a member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She has also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rubberbandance Group, Momenta and Hedwig Dances. As a guest artist, Karen has had the pleasure of performing with Ron DeJesus Dance, Ad Deum Dance Company, and Sandra Organ Dance Company. She has performed modern works by Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey, ballets by Asaf Messerer and Vasily Vainonen, and contemporary work by Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Doug Varone, and Randy Duncan. She has also collaborated with her husband, visual artist, Dayton Castleman, on dance works performed in Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. Karen and her husband have two daughters, Anna and Zoe and son, Fletcher. Karen also serves as Dance Director at The Arkansas Arts Academy High School in Bentonville and teaches at The Northwest Arkansas Conservatory of Classical Ballet.

Ma Cong – Tulsa Ballet Resident Choreographer

Ma Cong has been widely recognized by the dance world as a passionate, bright, and inspired  rising star choreographer. Critics have described his choreography to be powerful and passionate.

Ma is the Resident Choreographer of Tulsa Ballet, and continues to create and stage his existing works for companies internationally. Having started his dance career at the Beijing Dance Academy, where he trained in the art of Chinese Classical dance, Ma soon discovered his love for ballet and went on to graduate with honors. Ma danced with The National Ballet of China from 1995 until 1999, prior to joining Tulsa Ballet.  During his 12-year tenure at Tulsa Ballet, he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer.  Ma was one of the most celebrated and loved Artists in the history of the company.

As a choreographer, Ma launched his career with Tulsa Ballet creating Folia in 2004 and has created many original works for many other groups around the world. For last two years, Ma Cong had world premiere works presented Internationally. He created his first original full-length ballet – The Crane Whisperer for The National Ballet of China which will make Germany debut in July 2017, he also created his brand new Four Seasons for the company to premiere at The 2nd China International Ballet Season. Ma’s most recent work Flight of Fancy for Tulsa Ballet became one of audience favorite works. Ma Cong continues to be in demand worldwide for his unique talent and creations. Ma has been selected to choreograph the upcoming Broadway production of Julie Taymor’s M. Butterfly, which will make its premiere in October of 2017 at the Cort Theater in New York City.

About TBII

The 2017/18 Season will mark the fourth year Tulsa Ballet II performs a stand-alone mini-season, separate from the main company. Tulsa Ballet II was founded in 2005 as a paid program designed to provide a bridge between the student phase of an aspiring classical ballet dancer and the professional career.  TBII dancers receive a monthly stipend to help offset living expenses.  Through an international audition search, the most talented and committed young men and women are invited to Tulsa to refine their artistic and technical skills by working on their own and alongside the professional company.  This is accomplished through performances of repertoire ranging from pure classical ballets to the cutting edge of contemporary works.  Tulsa Ballet II provides new dancers for the main company each year, and has promoted more than a dozen dancers since 2010. Tulsa Ballet II offers its members multiple additional performance opportunities throughout the year, including their own mini-season with two triple-bill shows, education outreach performances (Backstage at the Ballet) which includes a partnership with Any Given Child-Tulsa, as well as providing support to Tulsa Ballet’s Main Company performances at the discretion of the Artistic Director Marcello Angelini. Of the TBII program he says, “Our goal from the very beginning was to create a program that would afford young, talented dancers the tools to bridge the gap between the academic studies of ballet and the expectations of a professional career. As it usually happens here at Tulsa Ballet, a small experiment has become a large, exciting and largely promising project. What was then a small experiment, TBII is now one of the most stimulating undertakings of our organization.”


Simone Acri, Japan/Italy, The Royal Ballet School, TBII.

William Beckham, USA, Master Ballet Academy, Phoenix.

Katelyn Chargois, USA, Classical Ballet Academy of Norman.

Maria Coelho, Brazil, American Ballet Theater, TBII.

Gabrielle Collins, USA, Atlanta Ballet.

Annachiara Corti, Italy, Ballet Dortmund.

Mario Galione, Italy, English National Ballet, TBII.

Taiyu He, China, Joffrey Ballet, TBII.

Nao Ota, Japan, Dance Space, TBII.

Vinicius Silva, Goiânia, Brazil, John Cranko Schule, Stuttgart, Germany, TBII.

Yuki Toda, Japan, Acri-Horimoto Ballet Academy, TBII.


Tickets for On Your Radar start at just $25. For tickets call (918) 749-6006 or visit www.tulsaballet.org. Single tickets go on sale August 1, 2017. Save $20 by purchasing a TBII mini-series subscription to both On Your Radar (August 25-17, 2017) and Emerging Choreographers Showcase (April 13-15, 2018)!

On Your Radar, a triple bill ballet featuring:

Untitled New Work Choreography by Jennifer Archibald

Red Rover Choreography by Karen Castleman

Alongside Choreography by Ma Cong, Tulsa Ballet Resident Choreographer


7:00 p.m. Friday, August 25, 2017

3:00 p.m. Sunday, August 27, 2017


The performance will take place at Studio K at the Tulsa Ballet Headquarters, 1212 E. 45th Place in Brookside Tulsa.

Additional Performance at Tulsa Ballet’s Hardesty Center for Dance Education: 


Ann and Henry Zarrow Foundation Performance Studio

at the Hardesty Center for Dance Education.

1901 W New Orleans St, Broken Arrow, OK 74011

WHEN:      7:00 p.m. Saturday, August 26, 2017

TICKETS: Start at $25, call the Tulsa Ballet Box Office at (918) 749-6006 or visit www.tulsaballet.org.

The 2017/18 Season opens with Tulsa Ballet II performing On Your Radar August 25 at 7pm and August 27 at 3pm in Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K Theater and August 26 at the new Zarrow Performance Studio at Tulsa Ballet Hardesty Center for Dance Education in Broken Arrow. In September, the main company will premiere Creations in Studio K, featuring three exciting never-before-seen works created just for Tulsa Ballet by international women choreographers: Helen Pickett, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Young Soon Hue. Creations in Studio K will be showcased two weekends (Sept 15-17 and 21-24) in Tulsa Ballet’s intimate 300-seat Brookside theater Studio K.  For tickets, please call (918) 749-6006 or visit us online at www.tulsaballet.org.

Hi-Res images and interview opportunities available:

Ryan Allen, Community & Public Relations Manager

918.392.5949, ryan.allen@tulsaballet.org