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

          Broadway Continues to Evolve

          Broadway Continues to Evolve

          An 8,610-square-foot, two-story performance center and ballet school will be built for Island Moving Company, along with four single-family homes, on the site of the former Triplett School at 435 Broadway. Approval for demolition of the current structure was finally granted by the Newport Zoning Board of Review after the original petition was passed unanimously by the City Council, the Planning Board and others, in 2018. The project is expected to be completed in 2023. “I think Upper Broadway is going to be the new cool place to be,” said Zoning Board chair Bart Grimes.

          Read the full article at

          IMC’s Return to Live review

          Island Moving Company’s ‘Return to Live’: Deep, thoughtful art

          Waterfire Arts Center, Providence, RI.
          May 6, 2021.

          Returning to live performance — these days, it’s a development that can make dancers and dance lovers everywhere rejoice. Since March of 2021, Island Moving Company (IMC) has kept its mission alive, as best it can in the circumstances, in a variety of ways: outdoor, socially-distanced performances (weather permitting); live-streamed shows; classes streamed over social media; outdoor classes; and more. Return to Live, at Providence, RI’s Waterfire Arts Center, was the company’s first show in a theater for a live audience since COVID hit.

          The company always creates notably thoughtful work — in concept and execution — yet the works in this program in particular evinced deep, thoughtful artmaking. It demonstrated how even simple choices can have profound meaning behind them. Perhaps the weight of the occasion was part of that effect — if even on the subjective part of this reviewer. Whatever the cause, the effect of this deep, thoughtful art was provoking thought and creating unparalleled aesthetic experiences.

          Read the full article HERE.

          IMC Summer Season



          (Newport, RI) – Island Moving Company (IMC), Newport’s classically trained contemporary ballet company, announces a return to live summer events and productions. Tickets for IMC’s  annual summer Gala and Newport Dance Festival are now on sale at 

          The company will begin its summer performances with a tour to the Seattle International Dance Festival, (SIDF)-June 16-19. SIDF is a 17-day celebration of contemporary dance with indoor and outdoor events, presenting local, national, and international artists. It was founded by Cyrus Khambatta, of Khambatta Dance. In July, Khambatta Dance will travel to Newport to share its work with local audiences as part of IMC’s Newport Dance Festival (NDF). This tour is part of IMC’s Great Friends Touring Project, an artists’ exchange developed by IMC in 2015 as a platform for mid-size dance companies to expand touring opportunities and gain greater national attention and audiences. 

          The 2021 Newport Dance Festival- July 20-25th on the lawn of the Great Friends Meeting House, 21 Farewell Street, Newport.  

          Each year, NDF includes a two-week residency for a visiting company, international guest artists, and additional visiting artists/companies will present work across six consecutive days of performances, featuring different programs each evening on the festival’s outdoor performance stage. The 2021 resident artist/company is San Diego Based Malaschock Dance. Artists and dance companies on NDF stage this year include Seattle Based Khambatta Dance; Boston Dance Theatre, Medford, MA.; East Coast Contemporary Ballet, Norwalk, CT.; Thomas/Ortiz Dance, New Canaan, CT.; and Revolve Dance, Providence, RI. 

          Gate opens at 6:30 and performances start at 7:00pm. Tickets start at $35, and a multi-ticket Flex Pass offers great value for patrons interested in attending multiple shows. Tickets and info at

          IMC’s annual Summer Gala Notte Bianca 2021 celebrates IMC’s importance as a key cultural attraction and asset for the City of Newport – and serves as the organizations largest fundraising event. Event Co-Chairs Barbara Caldwell and Kathy Kiven, along with IMC staff, have re-envisioned this year’s event, as an exquisite evening of culinary temptations, lively libations, and delightful garden performances, that showcase IMC’s creativity.  The evening includes original site-specific works created for the gardens at Jonna Chewning’s Sheep Shed Estate performed by the dancers of Island Moving Company. Tickets and sponsorship information are available at 

          Proceeds from this fundraiser help to underwrite IMC’s education and community programs and further the health of Newport County’s arts & cultural ecosystem. 

                                                                                  # # # # 

          Now in its 39th season, Island Moving Company (IMC) – under the leadership of Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen – has produced and presented dance by a diverse group of some of the world’s leading dance-makers and collaborating artists to make original works that leave audiences exhilarated and transfixed. In addition to its mainstage and family series productions, IMC is widely known for its unique approach to experiential and site-specific performances as well as innovative use of unconventional venues such as Rosecliff Mansion, Belcourt Castle, S/V Oliver Hazard Perry, and other notable sites across Newport County. 

          IMC is a non-profit, professional, contemporary ballet company whose mission is to build the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of Newport County, RI through dance creation, performance, and education. 

          Founded 1982, IMC has a long history of enriching the cultural fabric of our communities and is comprised of 13 professional dancers, 2 artistic producers, six administrative staff and is governed by a board of 10 community leaders. 

          Island Moving Company (IMC) serves as a cultural attraction, creative catalyst, and educational resource for residents of Newport County, and accessible to all Rhode Islanders.

          Review of IMC by

          We still have each other: Island Moving Company’s ‘Together in this Dream — Dancing Through the Digital Divide

          March 6, 2021

          By Kathryn Boland of Dance Informa

          COVID has us not able to hug certain loved ones, precluded from breaking bread with good friends and barred from experiencing creative acts in community. For many dancers, partnering and sharing sweaty space has become moving together in a Zoom meeting or — even more disconnected — through Instagram Live. What does human connection become when we can’t physically connect with one another, something our very biology leads us to crave? What is that experience in our body? What truths are we called to reaffirm through that experience?

          Island Moving Company’s Together in This Dream — Dancing Through the Digital Divide wrestled with these questions through its unique contemporary ballet idiom. The Newport, RI-based company streamed the show live from The Gamm Theater (Warwick, RI), with COVID protocols in place while audience members enjoyed the show safely from their home. The program included favorite repertory works as well as exciting premieres, all which could uniquely contribute to those questions of community and connection through this highly digital, socially-distanced time.