History & Mission

imc history


Island Moving Company is a classically trained contemporary ballet company based in Newport, RI, which produces new dance works through a collaborative creative process. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen, the Company has, for over 39 years, produced and presented dances by a diverse group of choreographers, working with musicians, poets, and visual artists. Island Moving Co. has become known for its creative use of unusual venues, creating site specific work for Rosecliff mansion (The Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff), Belcourt Castle (Dracula) and other Newport sites. Its site specific dance and art festival, Open for Dancing, has engaged over 500 participants in the community as well as choreographers such as Monica Bill Barnes, Joanna Haigood, Noemie Lafrance and Third Rail Projects’ Zach Morris and Tom Pearson. The Great Friends Touring Project uses a ten day summer dance festival as the basis for a network of partnerships with other dance companies around the country. The Touring Project has brought IMC to audiences in Missouri, California, Texas and Colorado. The Company also works extensively in the schools, interacting with students K-12 in curriculum based movement residencies throughout RI and Massachusetts. Through creative movement programs that imaginatively link movement to the curriculum, the Company’s dancers work with over 5000 children annually. The IMC received the Arts & Business Council’s Jabez Gorham Award for artistic and organizational excellence and the Preservation Society of Newport County’s 2019 Laurel Award for outstanding service, artisanship or leadership.

imc mission


Island Moving Company is a non-profit, classically trained contemporary ballet company, founded on the belief that collaboration and a supportive environment enhance the creative process, producing great works of art representing profound expressions of the human spirit and experience.

The Company seeks to develop dance as a valuable art form for our community through presenting original works of choreography which connect audiences to their own emotions and provides a shared experience that transcends cultural boundaries. Through education and outreach, dance enriches the life of our community and positively impacts the individual’s sense of self.