A gathering of the tribe

Island Moving Co.'s Great Friends Festival
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  July 7, 2010

dance_collisions_main
WORKING IT OUT Danielle Genest in rehearsal.

As they've done for the past few years, Island Moving Co. is taking no chances on the weather — they'd previously done summer outdoor performances for almost 20 years. IMC's Great Friends Dance Festival will take place at the Great Friends Meeting House in downtown Newport. The Meeting House is a historic building, built in 1699 by the Quakers (aka Friends), who came together here for their Sunday morning services (aka meetings).

The venue has been used several times by Island Moving Co., but it is particularly appropriate for this year's festival, which features so many of the company's "friends," as dancers and choreographers. California-based Colin Connor, who has worked with IMC many times over the past 12 years, will return to create a new trio for the company and a solo for his wife, Debra Noble. Patrick Notaro, of the Patrick Notaro Dance Project, was based in Rhode Island as a principal dancer with Festival Ballet and as a guest artist with IMC. He will be working with choreographer Kelly Ann Sloan, also from California and the winner of the 2008 choreography competition at IMC. And Scott Putman, who set a piece on the company last year, will return to create a piece for all the dancers and companies in the festival, performed as a finale during the last weekend.

Island Moving Co.'s dancers will perform every night of the festival, with a group of duets and trios that artistic director Miki Ohlsen is restaging, plus her piece titled "Let Me Live In Your Eyes" and Putman's piece, "Walking the Halls of Giants."

Other participants in the Great Friends Dance Festival are the Janusphere Dance Company and the Roxanne Lola Movement Machine, both from New York City, who will perform on the first weekend (July 17-18); Putman's Amaranth Company, from Virginia (July 20-25); the Providence Ballet Theatre (July 21-22, 24-25), headed by Eva Marie Pacheco, who once danced with Notaro and was a principal with IMC; and SASSON (July 21), a new company headed by Saifan Shmerer, who studied dance with Miki Ohlsen her entire childhood.

"Miki is elemental and the root of any artistic expression I have today," Shmerer stressed, in a recent phone conversation from her Brooklyn apartment. "I started creative movement with her when I was four, and then had classes several times a week till I was 18. The Newport Ballet Academy was like a second home, and the further I get from it, the more I realize how much it's done for me being an artist and a dancer."

Shmerer's family still lives in the Newport area; Shmerer has been in New York City the past five years, four of them in college. She's thrilled to have presented her first piece, "Right/Left Behind," in New York this past spring. It was part of a "New Works" program at the Tank, whose dance program produces emerging choreographers and young artists.

The quartet, featuring Shmerer, two female dancers, and a male dancer, was created through an interactive process, and Shmerer's tag line for the dance is: "A recipe for splintered wholeness; an antidote for easy-bake love; and a quick-fix for real-hard hurt."

1  |  2  |   next >
  Topics: Dance , Entertainment, Music, Dance,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   EMOTION IN MOTION  |  April 02, 2014
    When Festival Ballet Providence started their in-studio series, “Up Close On Hope,” more than 10 years ago, the vision was to give up-and-coming choreographers and dancers a stage less overwhelming and more intimate on which to find their footing.
  •   A SOUND APPROACH  |  March 05, 2014
    When the Brooklyn-based Mark Morris Dance Group takes the stage at the Vets this Saturday at 8 pm, the audience will get a lot more than just the expressive movement of dance.
  •   THE EVANGELIST OF TAP  |  January 29, 2014
    “Tap dance has been around since air,” Glover says, “and I want to bring more awareness and seriousness to the art form."
  •   LASTING IMPRESSIONS  |  November 06, 2013
    In the current “Up Close On Hope” series at Festival Ballet Providence, there are two stunning and emotion-drenched pieces that are an excellent example of what dance can do.
  •   AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY  |  October 30, 2013
    With renewed appreciation of circus performers in the ’70s (Big Apple Circus) and the elevation of circus skills to artistic performance (Cirque du Soleil), many incarnations of circuses and cirques have followed.

 See all articles by: JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ