Island moving Co.

Island Moving Co. presents its seventh annual Great Friends Dance Festival, taking place July 14-17 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 $28; $23 for seniors and students.  Ticket prices include a donation to the Newport Historical Society for the maintenance of the Meeting House. The Meeting House is located at 30 Marlborough Street, Newport, RI.  This year, the Great Friends Dance Festival is dedicated to the memory of Ronald F. Dick, who was an avid and early supporter of Newport’s resident ballet company.

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, Nomad Contemporary Ballet, Ballet des Ameriques and BodyStories: 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.  This year, the Big Piece is commissioned by John Paul Primiano and will be choreographed by visiting choreographer Jennifer Owen.  Other works presented by Island Moving Co. at the Festival will include works by Miki Ohlsen, Danielle Genest, Shane Farrell and Providence choreographer and Mark Harootian. 

A full schedule of Festival activities will be available on the website, by July 11th. 

The Great Friends Dance Festival is made possible with the support of the Newport Historical Society and community members who volunteer to house and feed each year’s group of visiting artists.

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.  The Great Friends Touring Project won support from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2015.

Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the boards of Fort Adams Trust, Lucy's Hearth, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.