La Palomba / Ascending Boston Globe Review

A moving, and ultimately uplifting, ‘La Palomba/Ascending’

The multimedia dance production by Island Moving Company in Newport, R.I., will be performed Oct. 15 and 16

NEWPORT, R.I. — Some of us have never forgotten the image of people falling out of the Twin Towers on 9/11. And even more of us have imagined, over and over, what it was like for the people trapped inside the buildings.

Remembering what we saw, envisioning what they saw, embodying the dreams of survivors — all of that and much more comes forth in the beautiful and incredibly moving multimedia dance work, “La Palomba/Ascending,” presented by Island Moving Company, Newport, Oct. 15 and 16. The piece was conceived and choreographed by Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen and Associate Artistic Director Danielle Genest, in collaboration with Simona De Tullio, of Breathing Art Company, in Bari, Italy, with whom IMC has worked for the past four years.

Island Moving Company is known for its outdoor performances, including the lawns of the Newport mansions as well as the tunnels inside Fort Adams. So a visit to La Palomba Sculpture Park, created inside an abandoned quarry, with some pieces of the 9/11 rubble by Antonio Paradiso, spurred Ohlsen and her team to set a dance piece there (presented in September) and then to bring it home to Newport, on an outdoor stage at the Great Friends Meeting House.
“La Palomba” has eight scenes, with evocative titles and epigraphs, starting with “Unforeseen,” continuing through “Frantic Search” and “Collective Sorrow,” and ending with “Souls Transcending.” But it is neither a close narrative nor a strictly religious synthesis of its themes.

40th Season Anniversary


Island Moving Company (IMC), Newport’s contemporary ballet company, announced details of its fortieth anniversary season today. Tickets for the company’s fall and winter events are now on sale. “As we continue to emerge from a global pandemic, IMC has managed to create a truly exciting season in celebration of providing four decades of world-class dance performance and education,” said IMC’s Executive Director Peter Bramante.

IMC’s 2021/2022 season highlights include, a special 40th Anniversary Gala Performance in March 2022 at The Vets in Providence, two significant new collaborative works, one made with Bari Italy’s Breathing Art Company, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the other, an all-new interpretation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, in partnership with Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra. In addition to its repertory and family series productions, audiences will once again experience all the joy and magic of IMC’s unique, holiday favorite, A Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff as the live, in-person production returns to the iconic Rosecliff Mansion, Nov 24-Dec 3, 2021. IMC’s 2021/2022 season calendar includes:

Sep. 3-19: Tour to Italy- La Palomba / Ascending -911 project – Matera, Italy
Oct. 8-11, 15,16: La Palomba/ Ascending: Outdoor Stage, Great Friends Meeting House-Newport
Oct. 15-17: Alice in Wonderland: Outdoor Stage, Great Friends Meeting House-Newport
Nov.24-Dec 3: A Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff. Rosecliff Mansion- Newport
Mar. 11: 40th Anniversary Gala Performance. Vets Theatre – Providence
May 5-8: Repertory Performance & Family Series production of Tales of Mother Goose – Newport
May 12-15: Repertory Performance-TBA & Family Series production of Tales of Mother Goose – TBA
Jun 15-19: Tour & Repertory Performance – San Diego CA,
Jul 19-24: IMC presents The Newport Dance Festival – Newport

The company begins its 2021/2022 season with a tour to Italy as part of a cultural exchange project with Bari Italy’s Breathing Art Company. IMC & Breathing Art are collaborating on a site specific, contemporary dance production in the La Palomba Sculpture Park in Matera Italy, September 16-18. IMC returns to the US to restage the work on IMC’s Outdoor stage, at the Great Friends Meeting House, October 8-11 and 15 & 16th to kick off the company’s fall season.

The project is supported in part by the Arts Council & City of Matera, Italy, Antonio Paradiso, and The LaPalomba Sculpture Park, UNESCO, World heritage sites, and by a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International fund in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The production, entitled La Palomba / Ascending, was inspired by a visit to the namesake sculpture park in 2019 by IMC’s Artistic Director, Miki Ohlsen. The La Palomba Sculpture Park is filled with massive sculptures made from the rubble of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, created by sculptor, Antonio Paradiso. Paradiso, an Apulian artist, was the only Italian authorized by the Port Authority of New York to receive transfer of the World Trade Center’s rubble. The result was the creation of The La Palomba Sculpture Park on the outskirts of Matera and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Ohlsen describes the experience of her initial visit. “Stepping down the stone steps into the bottom of the rough-hewn quarry, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of space itself. The sculptures rising to the beautiful blue, cloud filled sky, represented at once, the horror that humanity can inflict on itself and the amazing hope that literally rises through these sculptures. With images of doves scattered throughout the quarry, Paradiso’s sculptures represented a transformation, a freeing of the humanity that had been locked inside those towers, and the turning of a disaster, into something to remember, but also to create beauty from it.” La Palomba / Ascending is co-choreographed by Ohlsen & IMC’s Associate Artistic Director, Danielle Genest, with additional work from Simona DeTullio, Director of Breathing Arts Company. The artists provided a brief statement about the work. “La Palomba / Ascending does not depict the 9/11 event itself, but rather explores the shared experiences of the event on people across the globe. Our hope is that this new work will open another window into our understanding of the interconnectedness of humanity, allow us to reflect on that catastrophic event, and focus on the hope that must spring out of that for everyone.”

IMC’s Family Series production of Alice in Wonderland will run concurrently on the outdoor stage at the Great Friend Meeting House, Oct 15-17. Tickets are on sale now. IMC’s 40th Anniversary Gala at the Vets in Providence is scheduled for March 11, 2022. The evening will include all-live music and two new significant works. A reimagined version of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, and a work commissioned from acclaimed choreographer Nicolo Fonte. Carmina Burana will premiere as part of an exciting collaboration with Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra (RICCO) under the musical direction of Dr. Joshua Rohde, and original choreography and staging by IMC’s Artistic & Associate Artistic Director’s, Miki Ohlsen & Danielle Genest.

Dr. Rohde said, “I am eager to perform this dynamic presentation of Carmina Burana, one of the most exciting and beloved works in the repertoire. Collaborations always bring the best out of the artists, audience, and greater community, and I am thrilled for the opportunity for RICCO and IMC to join forces again. This will be a performance no one in Rhode Island will want to miss!” When asked about the partnership with RICCO, IMC’s Associate Artistic Director Danielle Genest shared “This is a big project and a very exciting collaboration for us. It is such a pleasure to work with Joshua Rhode as we re-envision Carmina Burana. Guided and inspired by the incredible musical score, we are eager to bring this classic to life in a new and dynamic way.” Choreographer Nicolo Fonte is known for his unique movement language as well as the highly developed fusion of ideas, dance and design that is a hallmark of his work. He has created or staged his ballets for The Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet West, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Stuttgart Ballet, The Australian Ballet, The Göteborg Ballet, The Finnish National Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Washington Ballet, Ballett Nürnberg, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and many others. Fonte will set his master work, Where We Left Off, on IMC dancers. The work has been hailed by critics as:

“A striking example of architectural clarity… His attention to structure and clarity surfaced throughout the ballet… With a work like Where We Left Off, we need not worry about the future of ballet. The title says it all.”

Margaret Putnam, Theater Jones

“Fonte’s ballets reveal his superb craft, and the movement is consistently evocative of the score…combines adventurous American athleticism with European classical and avant-garde traditions.”

Kathy Adams, Salt Lake Tribune

“There’s no narrative, no plot, nothing to interpret, “It’s about the dancing and the dancers. I wanted to develop a particular language. I really tried to make it just about the dancing – and what it means to dance alone, together, to dance as part of a group.”

Nicolo Fonte

“We are thrilled to commission Nicolo Fonte’s beautiful work, Where We Left Off. It is a breathtaking piece – rich in texture, full of depth, and very fitting for this time in the world. It will be a truly wonderful addition to IMC’s repertoire.”

Danielle Genest, Island Moving Company

Tickets for the fall events of IMC’s 40th Anniversary Season are on sale now and may be purchased at the IMC Box Office. Follow IMC on FaceBook, Instagram and/or sign up for the company’s e-newsletter. New COVID-19 protocols Island Moving Company and eight other Rhode Island performance venues and organizations have formed a partnership to provide for the safety of their audiences, artists, staff, and volunteers, based on current scientific evidence and best practices around the country.

Effective immediately and until further notice: All patrons attending in-person, indoor events must either show proof of full vaccination against COVID19 (at least 14 days have passed since the final dose), or proof of a negative COVID19 PCR test taken in the prior 72 hours, or proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken in the prior six hours. All patrons regardless of vaccination status must wear masks over their nose and mouth at all times while inside the venue (unless actively eating or drinking).

New Dancers and Staff



(Newport, RI) – Island Moving Company (IMC), Newport’s classically trained contemporary ballet company, announces the appointment of new dancers, apprentices, and staff members as the company prepares to launch its 40th Anniversary – 2021/2022 season.

“Following a year and a half of unprecedented challenges, we are excited to introduce new artistic and administrative team members who will be joining us as we embark on a significant anniversary season ahead,” said IMC’s Executive Director Peter Bramante.

Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen added, “IMC’s commitment to artistic excellence is further strengthened by the new artists and staff who will now call IMC home. Please join us in welcoming our new talent who will work to provide our audiences, residents, students and visitors with unique, world-class dance education and performance”.

Excerpts of new staff bios are included. Complete bios and more information on the company may be found at

Margot Aknin (Newport, RI) Company Dancer

Margot grew up in San Jose, California, where she trained at Los Gatos Ballet under Marcie Ryken for ten years. She spent three years in the Graduate Program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

Margot was a member of BalletMet 2 for their 2015–2016 season, performing corps and soloist roles. She joined Dayton Ballet in 2016.This is Margot’s first season with IMC.

Nicholas A. Esposito (Providence, RI) Business & Operations Manger

Nick comes to IMC from the University of Vermont, where he was Business Manager since 2019 and was previously as a grants administrator and analyst at Middlebury College. He has worked for over 10 years as a small business and not-for-profit business manager, leading finance and administration teams, and supporting strategic planning initiatives, as well as business and fund development efforts.

Athena Flournoy (Newport, RI) Company Apprentice

Athena Flournoy was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Point Park University with a B.F.A. in Modern Dance and a minor in Entrepreneurship. She has worked professionally with the Staycee Pearl Dance Project, in Pittsburgh, PA. This is Athena’s first season with IMC.

Kathleen McAreavey (North Providence, RI) Director of Education & Community Engagement

Kathleen joins IMC after serving as the Education and Community Outreach Manager for FirstWorks for the past eight years. In addition to her position at IMC, she is also the Manager of Education at the Westport (MA) Historical Society.

Kathleen graduated from Providence College with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and concentrations in Business Studies, History, and English. She studied the History and Conservation of Textiles in the Master’s Program at the University of Rhode Island. Her experiences range from exhibit curation and teaching, to curricula development and speech writing.

Laurel Paquin (Barrington, RI) Company & Production Manager

Has over 15 years of experience in Technical Direction and Production Management. She Got her BA in Technical Theater at Rhode Island College. She has worked at various schools and companies all over the south coast in a multitude of capacities around production. She has two beautiful little girls Haven, 4 years, and Autumn, 2 years, that are both aspiring dancers in their back yard. Laurel Has been the Stage manager for several past Island Moving Company Productions in the last few years. She looks forward to continuing that relationship with IMC.

Benjamin Rabe, (Newport, RI) Company Dancer

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ben received his core training at The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School with private training from Nicolas Petrov. While training, he attended summer intensives at the Kirov Academy of Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada School, and Miami City Ballet.

Mr. Rabe performed with BalletMet Columbus for two years under the direction of James Kudelka followed by Edwaard Liang. Mr. Rabe was a company dancer with Rochester City Ballet since 2009 and Joins IMC for his first season.

Edgardo Torres (Newport, RI) Company DancerOriginally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Edgardo received his bachelor’s degree in dance from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan in 2020. He also studied at Escuela de Bellas Artes de Barceloneta in San Juan and entro Internacional de Escuelas de Ballet en La Habana, Cuba.

Edgardo comes to IMC from Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, where he was a company member for the past four year. Edgardo is also a champion Salsa dancer and instructor. He has relocated to Newport to join IMC for his first season.

COVID19 Protocols Fall 2021

Nine Rhode Island Performance Venues and Organizations

to require Audience Vaccinations and Masks:

New COVID-19 protocols in effect until further notice

Island Moving Company and eight other Rhode Island performance venues and organizations have formed a partnership to provide for the safety of their audiences, artists, staff, and volunteers, based on current scientific evidence and best practices around the country.

Organizations included in this effort include:

Festival Ballet Providence, Gamm Theatre, Island Moving Company, Providence Performing Arts Center, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, Trinity Repertory Company, United Theatre, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, and Wilbury Theatre Group.

Effective immediately and until further notice: All patrons attending in-person, indoor events must either show proof of full vaccination against COVID19 (at least 14 days have passed since the final dose), or proof of a negative COVID19 PCR test taken in the prior 72 hours, or proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken in the prior six hours.

All patrons regardless of vaccination status must wear masks over their nose and mouth at all times while inside the venue (unless actively eating or drinking). Please visit the websites of the individual venues for any additional restrictions or details, particularly for children not yet eligible for vaccination. Details may be revisited or revised based on CDC guidance and the evolving circumstances of the pandemic.

While great strides have been made in vaccination rates, the recent rise is cases caused by the Delta variant inspired arts, cultural, and entertainment leaders to take these steps.

Further information regarding individual productions will be available on the Island Moving Company box office as plans for IMC’s 40th Anniversary Season are released in the coming weeks.

Gala brings renewed support to IMC’s Fund Our Future

Thank you to all who joined and supported IMC at the Old Colony House for IMC’s annual gala!

IMC would like to thank our guests, volunteers, and sponsors for joining us and supporting IMC at its annual gala. Special thanks to the Newport Historical Society for providing IMC with an alternate venue for the evening at the Old Colony House. Despite the stormy weather and change of venue, people arrived in the best finest summer attire to celebrate dance and the arts in Newport County. Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails and The Original Moonlighters helped create a light and fun atmosphere despite the heavy rain that passed through the area during the evening. See below for images and more fun.

Dominique Alfandre & Randal Poirier (Photo: Lauren Healey)

Thank you Randal and his Doing Well by Doing Good Charitable Foundation for $10,000 of support to IMC!

“As a long-term supporter of the organization and an avid fan of their inspiring sight specific contemporary ballet which Island Moving Company’s talented dancers have brought to our Newport community over the last 39 years, I feel very fortunate that my foundation is able to support the organization’s long-term mission with the upcoming construction of its soon to be performing arts home here in the City by the Sea. The goal of this gift is to help the company continue to build and enhance the community’s access to world class dance, while also simultaneously benefiting the future economic development of the community.”

-Randal Poirier, ChFC

Virginia Gambale & Tamara Farrick (Photo: Lauren Healey)

Mary Van Pelt, Allison Parsley, & Julianna Parsley (Photo: Lauren Healey)

Peter Cataldo, Terri Lynn Pantini, & Chuck Kiven (Photo: Lauren Healey)

Alan Sexton, Philip Tickner, Susan Little, Bill Harsch, & Tina Harsch (Photo: Lauren Healey)

Martha Parker, Brett McKenzie, & Kayleigh Melroy (Photo: Lauren Healey)

Julianna Parsley, Guy Van Pelt, & Allison Parsley (Photo: Lauren Healey)

Sydney Hitchell, Athena Flournoy, Emily Baker, & Ane Arrieta (Photo: Lauren Healey)

Thomas Palmer & Katie Moorhead (Photo: Kim Fuller)

Kate & Frank Spinella (Photo: Lauren Healey)

(Photo: Kim Fuller)

NDF Returns to its Roots


Artists from across the country join with Island Moving Company  

at Great Friends Meeting House for Annual Summer Festival 

(Newport, RI) – Island Moving Company (IMC), Newport’s resident contemporary ballet company, announced its exciting performance line up for the 2021 Newport Dance Festival, July 20th – 25th on an outdoor stage at the Great Friend Meeting House, 21 Farewell St. Newport. 

Tickets start at just $35. The complete festival schedule and tickets are available now at 

Each year, IMC’s Newport Dance Festival (NDF) brings a compliment of the dance world’s finest makers, educators, and performers to Newport for a two-week residency that culminates in six unique evenings of leading edge, dance performances for the community to enjoy. 

“The Newport Dance Festival (NDF) is an opportunity for local residents and visitors to experience some of the finest dance around the globe—right here in Newport–on a stunning outdoor stage” said Miki Ohlsen, IMC’s Artistic Director. She added “bringing dance out of doors to a prominent location—and creating an engaging and relaxed atmosphere for audiences to experience world-class dance is a hallmark of IMC’s commitment to our community.” 

The resident dance company selected for this year’s NDF is San Diego CA. based MALASHOCK DANCE. Malashock Dance is an active contributor to the vibrancy of San Diego’s cultural life and, like IMC, provides professional dance performances, training, and educational outreach for thousands of individuals in its home community each year. The company was founded by John Malashock in 1988, after a distinguished performing career with Twyla Tharp’s company in New York, where he performed worldwide; and appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Amadeus. 

Maloshock will be in residence in Newport for IMC’s summer dance intensive, starting July 11th – 25th, and along with IMC, will present work on each of the six unique evenings of festival performances. Other featured dance companies and choreographers include, Boston Dance Theatre, Medford MA; East Coast Contemporary Ballet, Norwalk, CT; Khambatta Dance, Seattle WA; Revolve Dance, Providence, RI; and Thomas/Ortiz Dance, New Canaan, CT. 

“NDF provides an unconventional experience for audiences to experience live, professional dance outdoors, said Peter Bramante, IMC’s Executive Director. Bramante continued; “we encourage audiences to bring their friends and families—to enjoy a picnic on the lawn — all while seeing world-class dance-it’s a fantastic Newport summer experience!” 

A multi-show Flex Pass offers significant savings for dance lovers who won’t want to miss a step!  

The 2021 NDF performance schedule: 

Tuesday, July 20:  

  • Opening Artist Talk: Dance & Film 
  • Island Moving Company 
  • Malashock Dance, San Diego, CA

Wednesday, July 21:  

  • Island Moving Company 
  • East Coast Contemporary Ballet, Norwalk, CT
  • Khambatta Dance, Seattle, WA
  • Malashock Dance, San Diego, CA
  • Etudes from summer intensive students 

    Thursday, July 22:  

    • Island Moving Company 
    • East Coast Contemporary Ballet, Norwalk, CT 
    • Khambatta Dance, Seattle, WA
    • Thomas/Ortiz Dance, New Canaan, CT
    • Etudes from summer intensive students 

    Friday, July 23:  

    • Island Moving Company 
    • Malashock Dance, San Diego, CA
    • Revolve Dance, Providence, RI
    • Thomas/Ortiz Dance, New Canaan, CT
    • Etudes from summer intensive students 

      Saturday, July 24:  

      • Island Moving Company 
      • Boston Dance Theatre, Medford, MA
      • Malashock Dance, San Diego, CA
      • Etudes from summer intensive students 

        Sunday, July 25:  

        • Island Moving Company 
        • Malashock Dance, San Diego, CA
        • Etudes from summer intensive students 
        • Concluding Works form summer intensive students 

          Special Announcement: IMC reschedules Notte Bianca Gala

          Due to tropical storm Elsa’s predicated path and impact on coastal RI & MA for this coming Friday (July 9), IMC’s Special Event Committee has determined to reschedule its NOTTE BIANCA annual summer Gala to Thursday July 29th.

          The event location & time will remain as originally planned, and all current reservations and meal orders will be honored on the 29th.

          Gala Committee Co-Chairs Barbara Caldwell & Kathy Kiven noted, “while we are not able to control mother nature, rest assured that we will deliver a stunning Notte Bianca on July 29th. We hope you will be able to revise your plans and we look forward to seeing you in Jonna Chewning’s Sheep Shed gardens at the end of the month!”

          Existing reservations will be transferred to July 29—and guests will not need to take any further action at this time. You weren’t able to join us on the 9th—but you are available on July 29th—reserve your ticket now here!

          The Silent Auction aligned with the Notte Bianca Gala has been extended through to Friday, July 30th. Bidding is open now. For information and to place a bid, go here!

          Should you have any questions, please email or call the IMC office at 401.847.4470