Summer Dance Festival Returns to Newport

Island Moving Company will present its annual Great Friends Dance Festival July 18-22, 2018. This year’s festival will feature five nights of performances on an outside stage at St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport. Festivalgoers are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, food and beverages.

The Great Friends Dance Festival was founded in 2010 by Island Moving Company, Newport’s resident contemporary ballet company under the direction of Miki Ohlsen. “The evening performances will feature a unique line-up of dances drawn on the talent, artistry and styles of the festival’s five visiting dance companies,” stated executive director Edward McPherson in a recent press release.

Headlining the festival is the STAYCEE PEARL dance project based out of Pittsburgh, Penn. STAYCEE PEARL  dance project explores innovative conceptual possibilities and boasts of diverse casting that produces programming around compelling concepts and themes inspired by social and political issues.


Over the course of the five-day festival, choreographer Staycee Pearl will bring together dancers from the Island Moving Company and the STAYCEE PEARL dance project to create a new piece that will be presented to the public on Saturday and Sunday evening.

The 2018 Festival includes:

The Breathing Art Company, based in Bari, Italy, under the direction of Simona De Tullio. The company is influenced in part by De Tullio’s work with American Contemporary ballet legend Alonzo King Lines Ballet. The Breathing Art Company has presented its work in Germany, Spain, Hungary, Albania and Puerto Rico.

Donna Salgado’s CONTINUUM Contemporary Ballet, based out of New York City, is composed of classically trained dancers whose aim is to create work that is inspiring, collaborative and progressive. Salgado’s choreography has been presented at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the 92 street Y, and the Latin Choreographers Festival, among others.

Ivanova Aguilar’s Loteria Performing Arts has a mission to promote collaboration between Mexican and American artists. Loteria performances creatively mesh dance, music, video and sculpture.

New Canaan Connecticut’s Thomas/Ortiz Dance will present work by founder Ted Thomas. The company of 12 dancers from culturally diverse backgrounds explores a multitude of thought-provoking and socially relevant themes. The company’s residence in Newport is made possible by funding from the New England Foundation of the Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Great Friends Dance Festival, July 18-22 at St Michael’s Country Day School, Newport. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 401-847-4470.