Austin Hartel | Artistic Director

Ever since opening its doors in 2000, Hartel Dance Group has captivated the hearts of audiences nationwide. Hartel Dance Group offers state-of-the-art shows and performances all throughout Oklahoma, the US, South America, and Europe. For Hartel Dance Group, our audience is our family, and we go out of our way to showcase productions that truly make an impact. Swing by and catch our talented performers in one of our upcoming productions!



Hartel Dance Group is a professional modern dance company in Oklahoma City and the parent company of the Oklahoma International Dance Festival.

Through the medium of dance/theater, the Hartel Dance Group creates and presents work that conveys positive, inspiring, and life-enriching experiences to audiences; and create and perform innovative dance works of extraordinary artistry that engage and inform diverse audiences. Their passionate and athletic style explores physical and emotional human boundaries while communicating with audiences viscerally. The company has held a dynamic presence in Oklahoma City and its surrounding areas, performing since 2006.

Hartel Dance Group has performed at Rose State College Performing Arts Center, the New Genre Festival in Tulsa, OK, and the Florida Arts Festival in Fort Myers. In addition, in Fall 2009, they had a one-month international residency in Asuncion, Paraguay, with performances and educational programs. Awards include the 2008 Audience Choice Award for best performing group at the Annual Carnality Ball in Oklahoma City.

Mr. Hartel’s choreography is both passionate and athletic in movement, and his work creates perceptual and intuitive environments, naturally engaging to audiences. Critics are saying, “..new, different, vital, thrilling, stimulating, satisfying, emotionally draining and deliciously sensuous in the most artistic ways imaginable…try brilliant!” -Frank Wagner, The Islander

Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times effuses, “a dose of pure revivifying oxygen” and Il Tirreno, from Italy exclaims: “Austin Hartel’s choreography is without a doubt, one of the most captivating examples of new choreography”.

“I am not sure “dance” adequately defines the performance. It is more like a spiritual communion between body and music. They breathe life and inspiration into pulsating sounds with clarity and a combination of acrobatic and dance moves. They defy gravity as they soar through the air and push the limitations of their limbs”, Laurie Lawson, Punch In International.


Austin Hartel, Artistic Director, brings his incomparable experience as a performer, teacher, and director to his newest endeavor. Mr. Hartel danced for five years as a soloist and co-choreographer with Pilobolus Dance Theater, making appearances worldwide and on television. Mr. Hartel has also danced with The Frank Holder Dance Company, Dendy Dance and Theater, and The Opera Company of Philadelphia, among others. In 2006, he taught master classes in choreography abroad and technique at the I.A.L.S. in Rome, Italy.

For 10 years he served as the Artistic Director of Dalton-Hartel Dance, which toured both nationally and internationally to critical acclaim, performing throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Korea. Under Mr. Hartel's leadership, Dalton Hartel Dance performed at such prestigious festivals as The Vignale Dance Festival, The Florence Dance Festival and the Versiliana Festival in Italy, The 5th Festival de Danca Mercosur, 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, Clark Studio Theater at Lincoln Center, and St. Mark's Church among others. International commissions include works for the Company Teatro Nuovo of Torino, Italy, The National Ballet of Suriname, and The National Ballet of Paraguay. Mr. Hartel's opera credits include Director John Eliot Gardiner's "The Magic Flute", which toured Europe for four months.

Former honors include The U.S. Dept. of State's selection to serve as a Cultural Specialist in 1990 and most recently Mr. Hartel was awarded a 2009 Fulbright Fellowship, to provide a teaching and choreographic residency at The National Ballet of Paraguay and the National Institute of Fine Arts, developing the dance degree curriculum for the National Training Program. He continues to represent American Arts and Culture, by teaching, lecturing, and performing throughout Europe, South and Central Americas. He is currently the director of the Oklahoma International Dance Festival, and on faculty at the University of Oklahoma's School of Dance where he coordinates the Modern Dance Program