Island moving Co.

Island Moving Co. presents its seventh annual Great Friends Dance Festival, taking place July 13-17 and July 19-23, 2016 at the Great Friends Meeting House in Newport, RI. 

Performances, which are unique each night, are at 7:30pm.  Tickets to the performances are $25; $20 for seniors and students.  The Meeting House is located at 30 Marlborough Street, Newport, RI.

The Great Friends Dance Festival is nine nights of performance, with a unique shared bill each night, in the intimate and historic 1699 Great Friends Meeting House in the heart of Newport.  Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen has invited a diverse roster of guest companies to share performance and creative time at the Festival this year, including Providence’s Part of the Oath, Trainor Dance, Ballet des Ameriques and Teresa Fellion Dance of New York. This year’s residency company is Kansas City’s Owen/Cox Dance, under the direction of Jennifer Owen.  As the resident company for the Great Friends Touring Project, Owen/Cox Dance will host Island Moving Co. for performances in Kansas City in 2017.

The Great Friends Dance Festival includes master classes, open rehearsals, performance and the creation of a daily Etude, created by festival choreographers with a group of self-selected dancers from among the festival’s artists.  During the Festival, a “Big Piece” is commissioned each year, created with all available Festival dancers and presented on the Festival’s final nights.  The Big Piece this year will be made by visiting choreographer Jennifer Owen. 

Other works presented by Island Moving Co. at the Festival will include works by Miki Ohlsen, and Providence choreographers Bill Evans and Mark Harootian.  A roster of Festival activities and information about the Great Friends Touring Project can be found on the website,  The Great Friends Dance Festival is made possible with the support of the Newport Historical Society.

Great Friends Touring Project

The Great Friends Dance Festival was founded by Newport’s resident contemporary ballet company to showcase new work and guest companies and artists from around the country.  In 2010, with assistance from the RI Foundation, the IMC began the Great Friends Touring Project, which brings a resident guest company to Newport each summer during the festival, with an exchange performance by Island Moving Co. at that company’s home theatre the following spring.  Great Friends Touring Project companies have included Pasadena Ballet Theatre (CA), Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Surfscape Contemporary Dance (FL), Houston Metropolitan Dance Company (HoustonMet, TX) and Samruk Dance of Almaty, Kazakhstan.  


  • What: The Great Friends Dance Festival
  • When: July 13-17, July 19-23, 2016
  • Where: Great Friends Meeting House, 30 Marlborough Street, Newport, RI
  • Who: Island Moving Co., Miki Ohlsen Artistic Director; Owen/Cox Dance, Jennifer Owen Artistic Director; Ballet des Ameriques, Carole Alexis Artistic Director; Trainor Dance, Caitlin Trainor Artistic Director; Teresa Fellion Dance, Teresa Fellion Artistic Director; part of the oath, Colleen Cavanaugh Artistic Director

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