Island Moving Co.
Alexander Nesbitt

Newport’s Island Moving Co. presents Open for Dancing 2017September 20-24, 2017. The company’s biennial festival of Newport’s historic landscapes through site-specific dance features three choreographers working in diverse landscapes with companies of dancers made up of the Island Moving Company dancers plus members of the community. The celebration brings together musicians, choreographers, professional dancers, artists and dance lovers to create dances for prominent Newport landscapes. As always, Open for Dancing is open for participation by anyone, regardless of skill level.  Potential participants can learn more about the experience of Open for Dancing at an informational gathering Wednesday, September 6 at 5pm at Salvation Café at 140 Broadway in Newport.

Island Moving Company’s Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen has chosen three accomplished choreographers, from all corners of the country, to come to Newport and create unique dances for Newport landscapes.  They will work with collaborating artists, and their companies, to explore the history and beauty of those landscapes for three performances each day, Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24th.

Open for Dancing includes master classes and opportunities to interact with the artists during the Festival.  Evening events include an artists panel discussion at 7pm on Friday, September 22nd at the Redwood Library in Newport.  Open for Dancing performances are free to the public.  On Saturday, September 23rd, patrons can see the 20 minute dances at Fort Adams and Ballard Park at 2, 3, 4pm; Greenvale Vineyards at 3, 4 & 5pm.  On Sunday, performances are at Fort Adams and Greenvale Vineyards at 2, 3 & 4pm and at Ballard Park at 3, 4 & 5pm.  Ballard Park is located at 25 Hazard Road in Newport; Fort Adams is at 80 Fort Adams Drive in Newport and Greenvale Vineyards is in Portsmouth at 582 Wapping Road.

Open for Dancing also includes work by a guerrilla troupe, called the Festival’s Phantom Limb, who perform on the Festival weekend, September 23 & 24 at noon on the wharves and streetscapes of downtown Newport.  A Sunset Ballroom closes the Festival day on September 23rd at 6pm on Long Wharf near Washington Square. Open for Dancing events, including yoga, stretch and master classes, daily lunch with the artists, rehearsals at the sites, and a panel discussion about site-specific work, are all open to the public. Participants in Open for Dancing are assigned to a site and a choreographer and take part in the creation of the site specific work, performing in it six times September 23 & 24th.  The fee for participation is $30 a day with a five day commitment; discounts for students and others are available.  The performances at the three sites are free.  Open for Dancing is sponsored by Susan Ruf and Michael Walsh and through the generosity of the sites.

Open for Dancing Choreographers

Mary Scott of Seattle has been actively researching movement and creating innovative dance works for over 20 years. Scott’s choreography has been presented through On the Boards, Bumbershoot Festival, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, American College Dance Festival, Western Washington University, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dance Theater Workshop/NYC, Dance/USA, Composer/Choreographer, Velocity Dance Center, the Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents, the Southern Theater, and the Pacific Northwest Dance Lab. Scott is Artistic Director and Choreographer for Scott/Powell Performance and Co-Director of the Composer/Choreographer new performance series. Since 1993 she has created dance works in collaboration with composer Jarrad Powell, who will join Scott to create her work at the Redoubt at Fort Adams in September. For more information visit  Mary’s work is being created in collaboration with composer Jarrad Powell.

Thom Dancy has danced with Milwaukee Ballet II, Grand Rapids Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company and is currently Director of Outreach/Communications at Malashock Dance in San Diego. Thom is also the former director of his own Milwaukee-based dance project, NomadicLIMBS.. He has originated principal roles in works by Kate Skarpetowska, Victor Alexander, Brian Enos, and Harrison McEldowney.  As a choreographer, Thom has created work on The Big Muddy, Milwaukee Ballet II, Grand Rapids Ballet, COCA, and Danceworks Chicago. Thom’s choreography has won awards at The McCallum Dance Under The Stars Choreography Competition, Youth America Grand Prix, and the World Ballet Competition. He has presented contemporary works on The Big Muddy, Grand Rapids Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet II, Danceworks Chicago, Ballet Nebraska, Convergence Ballet, San Diego Ballet’s “Dance Gallery,” Webster University, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His work has been seen at the Spring To Dance festival in St. Louis, and in GRB’s “Best of Movemedia.” He will be working with costumer Lisa Reimer. His work will be created at Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth, RI.

Teresa Fellion founded BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance in New York in late 2011, after working as an independent choreographer since 2004. She has shown work at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob’s Pillow, The Public Theater, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, University of Florida, ENTPE University (Lyon, France), NYU, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Bryant Park Summer Stage, BDF Edinburgh at EICC, Dixon Place, ICA Boston, 92nd St. Y, Triskelion Arts, and in concerts with Phish, among others. Music collaborators include Yannelli, Trey Anastasio, Phish, Ryan Lott, Ryan Edwards, Kevin Keller, and Carver Audain.  Teresa has received Choreographic Fellowships from SummerStages Dance Festival, ICA Boston and the Jacob’s Pillow’s Choreographers’ Lab. Her choreography has also been commissioned by NYC Department of Transportation’s Summer Streets, Marigny Opera Ballet, chashama, and The Hudson River Museum via the Jordan Matter Dancers Among Us exhibit.  BodyStories performed in Newport at the Great Friends Dance Festival 2016.  Teresa will be working at Ballard Park in Newport, RI with fiddler Alicia Ruggiero and choral director Elizabeth Woodhouse.

For more information about the festival call 401 847-4470 or visit


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