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The Hartel Dance Group of Oklahoma City brings its interactive, multi-media dance experience to the Ataloa Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center in Ada on Saturday, April 22, at 7 pm.

The performance will feature Ada High School graduates, dancer Chelsea Walker, and musicians Aaron Robinson and Dillon Branscum, as well as two world-renowned guest artists from Brazil. This marks the 10th season for The Hartel Dance Group and first time performing in Ada.

Hartel’s “Human After All” performance features live music composed by Aaron Robinson and Dillon Branscum and performed by their band Medicine Brother. Daring audience members are invited on stage to participate in the performance while other audience members are invited to live-stream the experience by cell phone. Using #hdglive, live streams will be projected above the performers, adding a layer of virtual dialogue between audience and performers, and also expanding the audience to anyone in the world with access to the live video stream.

“We want to break through the ‘4th Wall’,” Hartel says, referring to the invisible wall between audience and performers on stage. “We want to actively engage the audience to participate in an experience, not just as passive observers, but as co-collaborators in the performance.”

The Hartel Dance Group is known for its often playful and whimsical performances. It is clear, however, even to an amateur viewer that the performances are technically virtuosic in their physicality. Hartel’s movements both challenge and celebrate the laws of physics as dancers perform acrobatics that illuminate the beauty of balance, strength in constructing human sculptures, the danger of speed on stage, as well as the mechanisms of human nature that unite us as “human after all.”

Austin Hartel currently is on faculty at the University of Oklahoma's School of Dance where he has coordinated the Modern Dance Program since 2003. He also serves as artistic director of Contemporary Dance Oklahoma.

Hartel danced for five years as a soloist and co-choreographer with Pilobolus Dance Theater, making appearances worldwide and on television. Hartel has also performed 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, Peter Pucci Plus Dancers, and Tandy Beal, among others.

For 10 years, Hartel served as the Artistic Director of Dalton-Hartel Dance, which toured both nationally and internationally to critical acclaim, performing throughout the continental United States and Hawaii, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Korea, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, and the Micronesian Islands.

Tickets for the performance at ECU are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased online at or by calling 405-919-9331

The show will also be performed the following weekend in Oklahoma City at Oklahoma Contemporary on April 28-29 at 8 pm.


Daniele Cristina Silva Aráujo, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, is a member of the Compasso Academia de Dança Youth Group. She was selected to participate at the YAGP finals in New York in 2017 and has participated in several competitions around Brazil.

Mario Perdomo is an award-winning dancer and choreographer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and holds a degree in physical education. His first encounters with dance were street dance styles, known as breaking, hip hop, house, and locking and popping. He was a member of the Urbanus Crew for nine years and a member of the Rock in Rio Street Dance Crew in 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. He was also a featured performer for the Diesel fashion campaign in Vogue Fashion's Night Out in Rio in 2013. For the last three years, Perdomo has focused on formal dance training in classical and modern dance, which he combines with his street dance styles to construct his own creative aesthetic.

Chelsea Walker began dancing at the age of three at Central Oklahoma Dance Center in Ada and quickly fell in love with the art form. Growing up, she trained every summer at various summer programs such as: Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, Summer Wind Youth Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet. In December 2015, Chelsea graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance. She currently teaches modern, ballet, and jazz at the Classical Ballet Academy and Central OK Dance Center.

Aaron Robinson is a composer, sound engineer, and dance accompanist, that has composed music for choreographers, including Austin Hartel and Giada Ferrone, among others. His work as been performed at The Florence Dance Festival, CalArts, North Carolina School of the Arts, The University of Oklahoma, The Orlando Fringe Festival and Spectrum in New York City. His recent work includes recordings with bands Meet the Bostons and Medicine Brother, music composition for 18 Planets with choreography by Kira Blazek, and sound engineering for the band Bear Hands on tours of the USA and Canada. Originally from Ada, Aaron now lives in New York where he works as a freelance audio engineer and composer, as well as staff accompanist at Barnard College.



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