History & Mission

OUR HISTORY

The company was founded in 1982 by a collective of choreographers who sought a forum for their work and who believed collaboration and a supportive environment enhance the creative process. For 39 years, Island Moving Company (IMC) has served as a cultural attraction, creative catalyst and educational resource for residents of Newport County, and accessible to all Rhode Islanders.

IMC regularly collaborates with Newport’s non-profit community, crafting mutually beneficial partnerships and reimaging experiences that stretch audiences’ imaginations for what a theatre experience could be. These partnerships have been the basis of the Company’s signature of collaboration and have elevated Newport’s identity as an important cultural community.

In 2002, in celebration of our 20th season, we mounted the first site-specific dance festival, Open for Dancing, which is now presented biennially and uses Newport’s stunning landscapes and structures as venues for original dances; performers include renowned guest artists AND members of the community, including non-dancers!

Also, in 2002, IMC created a partnership with the Preservation Society of Newport County for Our site-specific Newport Nutcracker — a unique retelling of the holiday classic which moves through the rooms of Newport’s most romantic mansion. IMC’s approach to innovative site-specific performances and spectacles have furthered IMC’s ability to engage with audiences while elevating our standing as both a pioneer and leader in the field. 

The Company’s Touring Project began in 2011 and has developed national & international touring partnerships—introducing IMC to adoring audiences across the US.  The Company’s first international tour included an exchange with Samruk Dance in Almaty, Kazakhstan through the US State Department. A partnership with Bari Italy’s Breathing Art Company began in 2017 and has resulted in multiple exchanges, two tours to Italy—and a third planned for fall of 2021.

In 2017 we created the groundbreaking Second Star to the Right, A Tale of Hook and Pan on the decks of the Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP).  The Newport Dance Festival (NDF) was reimagined in 2019, and hosts a visiting company in residence for two weeks of outdoor public events & performances, overlapping with IMC’s summer dance intensive for young dancers. The addition of Where in Newport is IMC? in summer of 2020 provides the most recent example of IMC’s resiliency and adaptability to serve our community even during a global pandemic. The program offered residents and visitors a unique way to explore some of our community’s wonderful public spaces, while experiencing striking and whimsical performances.

OUR MISSION AND VISION

Island Moving Company (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.

IMC’s community programs are founded upon the following values/beliefs: As an art form and a life practice, dance is kinesthetic – it deeply engages hearts, minds and souls and bridges divides among us. IMC believes creativity is an interactive and collaborative process open to everyone, and is put in practice through inclusion and respect, discipline and emotional connection. It can produce great art, but more importantly, provides us all with a sense of connection and belonging.

IMC’s main-stage and site-specific productions serve as an important cultural asset for residents and a vital attraction for our tourism and community partners. Additionally, IMC provides deeply integrated arts-learning curriculum to Newport County schools, and also provides exposure to classical and contemporary forms of dance education, music and performance to over 5,000 of the county’s students annually.

Bringing people together for shared experiences, and the healing and transformative power of great live dance and world-class dance education experiences is core to IMC’s work. IMC has a history of creating responsive programing that offers our community access to live professional dance, but also to sources that are relevant to their well-being as well as ways to connect to each other.

IMC provides community value by:

  • Creating intimate, accessible art and providing a platform for new/emerging choreographers
  • Promoting dance as a vital element in the education, motivation & growth of children
  • Inspiring a new generation of dancers and creating a career conduit through our Jr. company
  • Employing resident artists who contribute direct & indirect benefits to the economy
  • Designing and teaching curricula help student’s close skill gaps, build confidence and forge new pathways in school and life