Photo © Shevaun Williams
Austin Hartel, Artistic Director, brings his extensive international experience to the Oklahoma International Dance Festival. Austin is very excited to be working with such a great team to bring OIDF to life in 2020.
Originally from Washington D.C., Mr. Hartel took his first dance class at the Washington School of Ballet at the age of 8. He continued his training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet and received his BFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and after a 16 year career touring and performing worldwide he went back to school and received his MFA from CALARTS in Dance and Integrated Media.
Mr. Hartel danced for five years as a soloist and co-choreographer with Pilobolus Dance Theater, making appearances worldwide and on television. After leaving the company, he continued to work on special projects with Pilobolus for 8 more years. He has danced with Dances We Dance, The Frank Holder Dance Company, Dendy Dance and Theater, Valley Forge Dance Theater, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, The Charlotte Opera Company, and Tandy Beal among others. Former honors include The U.S. Department of State's selection to serve as a Cultural Specialist touring throughout Central and South America for 10 years. . A 2009 Fulbright Scholar's Grant recipient, Mr Hartel worked with the National Ballet of Paraguay for 6 months as the resident Choreographer.
As Artistic Director of Dalton-Hartel Dance and Hartel Dance Group, which toured both nationally and internationally to critical acclaim, his choreography has been presented on 5 continents and at such prestigious festivals as The Vignale Dance Festival, The Florence Dance Festival and the Versiliana Festival in Italy, The 5th Festival de Danca de Mercosul and the VI International Seminar de Danca in Brazil. National performance venues include NYC's The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, DIA, The Mulberry Street Theater, Hudson Guild Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Clark Studio Theater at Lincoln Center and St. Mark's Church.
He continues to represent American Arts and Culture by teaching, lecturing, and performing internationally and maintaining a national presence. He currently is on faculty at the University of Oklahoma's School of Dance where he has coordinated the Modern Dance Program since 2003 and is Artistic Director of Contemporary Dance Oklahoma.