Open for Dancing

Island Moving Company presented the seventh Open for Dancing Festival September 20-24, 2017.  Our choreographers were Mary Sheldon Scott, of Seattle; Thom Dancy of San Diego, CA and Teresa Fellion from New York.  They worked with other artists and members of the community to create work for our most imaginative and joyous festival.

Scroll down to learn more about Open for Dancing and past festivals, including the documentary about the festival, “A Sense of Place.”

“The power and beauty of human spirits came through in beautiful dancing and effective usage of performance sites. Through much experience with site work and many talented, creatively courageous people involved, IMC has learned how to make this magic happen. Brava, brava, encora, encora.”

By Kathryn Boland of Dance InformaClick here for the full review

Alexander Nesbitt O4DCreated in 2002, Open for Dancing (O4D) is a festival that highlights Island Moving Co.’s support of new choreography, its belief in collaboration, and the diverse beauty of Newport, RI. The biennial 5-day festival has included 94 artists, 400+ volunteers, and 600+ participants in the creation of site-specific works.

O4D is based around the work of 3 choreographers, paired with collaborating artists such as chefs, poets, musicians, the Navy Band, milliners, and other types of visual artists. The choreographers also work with “companies” of dancers — IMC’s 10 professional dancers and members of the community. Together, they create site-specific dances which are performed 6 times on the culminating weekend. Community participants are part of the creation process, working intimately with artists at their sites. Anyone can participate.

Choreographers have included Marta Renzi (NY), Deborah Lohse (NY), Zach Morris (NY), Daniel McCusker (MA), Noemie Lafrance (NY), Joanna Haigood (CA), Monica Bill Barnes (NY), and Amy Ragsdale (MT), among others. (Full list is below.) Most festival activities are free, including panel discussions, lunches with artists, and the performances; while a participant fee admits to master dance classes, evening events like dance films at the local movie theatre and a Sunset Waltz, free ballroom dancing on a wharf.  Participants also get the incomparable experience of creating a work of art in the landscape.

New O4D Image TPP

In a process that participants have called life-changing, ordinary people collaborate with accomplished choreographers and artists to make memorable performances. They create a community with their fellow company members and the artists. In the long days of developing the piece, they discover physical reserves within themselves and intimate affinities within the landscape they work. Audience members at the free performances commonly see familiar landscapes in a new way. O4D has happened on beaches, wharves, in parks, on private lawns, and in historic venues. The audience moves through each landscape with the dance, sometimes seeking it out, or seeing it from diverse angles. Each piece is entirely driven by the choreographer’s vision, which is inspired, modified, and amplified by his or her company of collaborators.

Departure 9-23 TPPAlthough choreographers choose their site and ponder it with their collaborating artist for months, they have only 3 days to make their vision happen – which means that the site, the dancers, the weather, and even the audience become part of the process.

O4D has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the LEF Foundation, the Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, the New Works Fund at the RI Foundation, the Beveridge Foundation, Meet the Composer, Inc., and many individuals including Theodora Aspegren, Pam and Andrew Constantine, William and Alison Vareika, Joya Granbery Hoyt, Leslie Reed and Susan Ruf and Michael Walsh.


Past Open for Dancing Festivals 2002-2013

Choreographer Amy Ragsdale; sculptor Olivia McCullough at the sunken garden of The Elms
Choreographers Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer;  fabric artist Genevieve Platt at Rough Point
Choreographer Daniel McCusker; musician Christopher Eastburn and sculptor Bob Rizzo at Ballard Park

Choreographer Noemie Lafrance; various local singers and musicians at Fort Adams
Choreographer Daniel McCusker; installation artist Elizabeth Keithline at the Sod Maze at Chateau-sur-Mer
Choreographers Jim Coleman and Terese Freedman; musician Michael Vargas at Rough Point
Phantom Limb performances by Rhode Island College Dance Company under Dante del Giudice

Choreographer Andrea Haenggi; vocalist Alexandra Marculewicz at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Choreographer Joanna Haigood; the Navy Jazz Quintet at the Newport Naval Base
Choreographer Michael Bolger; drummer Michael DeQuattro and poet Jim Nave at Malbone House
Tap Choreographer Brian Jones on the Newport Marina wharf
Phantom Limb performances by Rhode Island College Dance Company under Dante del Giudice

Choreographer Nikki Carrara; sculptor Katie McManus Wynne and musician Paul Dube at Ballard Park
Choreographer Andrea Haenggi; pianist John Davis at Gooseberry Beach
Choreographer Monica Bill Barnes; milliner Sarah Havens at Fort Adams
Phantom Limb performances by Anne Zuerner and dancers

Choreographer Marta Renzi; musician Steven Jobe at the Norman Bird Sanctuary
Choreographer Zach Morris; chef Sophie Plowright at Fort Adams
Choreographer Christine Sandorfi; musician Tobias Andrews at Bellevue House
Phantom Limb performances by The Green Chair

Choreographer Tom Pearson; metal artists Monica Shinn, Anna Shapiro and Bob Rizzo at the Steel Yard
Choreographer Yanira Castro; musician  Stephan Moore at the Opera House
Choreographer John Mark Owen; costumer/artist John Sawicki at Gray Craig
Choreographer Deborah Lohse; fashion designer Andrae Gonzalez at the Meditation Maze at Salve Regina University
Phantom Limb performances by the Roger Williams Univ Dance Co under the direction of Michael Bolger

Choreographer Thom Dancy; costumer Lisa Reimer at Greenvale Vineyards
Choreographer Teresa Fellion; violinist Alicia Ruggiero and choral director Elizabeth Woodhouse at Ballard Park
Choreographe Mary Sheldon Scott; composer Jarrad Powell at the newly uncovered Redoubt at Fort Adams

Open for Dancing part 1 from IMC Dance on Vimeo.

Open for Dancing part 2 from IMC Dance on Vimeo.

Open for Dancing part 3 from IMC Dance on Vimeo.

Open for Dancing part 4 from IMC Dance on Vimeo.

Open for Dancing part 5 from IMC Dance on Vimeo.

Sense of Place Credits from IMC Dance on Vimeo.


Phantom Limb in the street

Carol in tree 9-21 TPPRefract labyrinth TPPGarrison Rations P Abbey girlsOut of the CanopyRejects Beach 2008