Open for Dancing

September 20-24, 2017
Newport, RI

Island Moving Company presents the seventh Open for Dancing Festival in September, 2017.  Check back for updates on the choreographers who will be creating work and on other plans for our most imaginative and joyous festival.

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 500+ 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 9 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.) All festival activities are free, including master dance classes, panel discussions, lunches with artists, and evening events like dance films at the local movie theatre and a Sunset Waltz, free ballroom dancing on a wharf.

New O4D Image TPPOpen for Dancing Interlude – September 24-27, 2015

This year, we will produce an Open for Dancing Interlude, which begins in August when Island Moving Co. has been invited to create a special Open for Dancing for the celebration of Southampton, NY’s 375th year.  It will continue in September with a site specific dance made by our dancer Christine Sandorfi for the children of the Pell School in Newport and their super-duper new playground.  Other outdoor site specific adventures will follow.

2017 is an Open for Dancing year. Three choreographers will be invited to participate and they will each visit Newport to choose a collaborating artist.

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 who are also O4D 2016 sponsors.


Open for Dancing 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


Phantom Limb in the street

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