IMC's “Dance with the Stars” Gala Heats Up the Dance floor, Opens Dance Festival

Tent & Great Friends Meeting House

Although jokingly referred to as “the hottest party of the year” by Event Chair Theodora “Teddy” Aspegren (thanks to the unreal heat wave smothering New England at the time), the Island Moving Company’s “Opening Night – Dance with the Stars” annual summer gala delivered sultry professional performances, a sizzling orchestra band, and an outdoor dance floor that was definitely "on fire" as the night went on.


2011’s Gala was once again held at the Great Friends Meeting House in downtown Newport, RI – this time with air conditioning, which helped, as well as auction bidding numbers cleverly attached to wooden tongue depressors, so that many attendees used to fan their faces.

Dominique Alfandre & Miki Ohlsen


Ms. Aspegren, along with IMC Board of Directors Chair Kate Spinella, led the event as it moved from through spaces: first, from the entry room of the historic meeting house (with some folks venturing out to the exterior lawn for hors d’oeuvres and sunshine) and then into the adjoining performance area, lined on all sides with chairs and benches, and which would serve as the stage for the rest of the week’s performances, which spotlighted many internationally renowned dancers.


Miki Ohlsen
, longtime Artistic Director for the organization,  put together a “sneak peek” of performances to come later in the week during the Great Friends Dance Festival. IMC Executive Director Dominique Alfandre stood to welcome the audience and present the performances, which began with "To Rest", choreographed by Danielle Genest, and then moved into Au Coin de La Rue, a series of short dances choreographed by Ohlsen and set to Edith Piaf songs. Scenes ranged from frolicsome seaside romps to intimate, jealous lovers’ quarrels and triangles, to wistful solo dances.

 

Abby Byrne & Gillian Lessels sell mystery boxes

Dancers included Brooke DiFrancesco, Glen Lewis, Shane Farrell, Christine Sandorfi, David DuBois, Meredith Baer, Carol Tang, Marcelino Juarez, and Danielle Genest. Of the 200+ guests attending the event were Ellen Barnes, Dick and Monty Burnham, Alyce Wright, Dick Baker and Barbara Lloyd Baker, Bart Dunbar, Paul Szapary and Diana Sylvaria, Marilyn Woloohojian, David and Judith Enstone, Barbara and Warren Caldwell, longtime IMC dancer Mary Beth Murphy, and more.


Following the performances, guests were ushered outside to a huge white tent, lit up in purple and decorated inside with orange accents, including an eye-catching balloon sculpture which hung from the ceiling. Silver stars glittered on tables. Young girls in white dresses carrying wicker baskets sold the last of the “mystery boxes” available for purchase, each containing an enamel bracelet donated by Sequin, two tickets to the festival, and one lucky box with the grand prize: Red Sox tickets.

 

Steven Kaufman, Spencer Berger & Monica Kaufman


Teddy Aspegren and Rob Bailey assumed their places on the dancefloor to formally greet seated attendees and to discover who had won the Red Sox tickets. “It’s a great country we live in, where people support the arts,” remarked Bailey. Following a catered dinner and a live auction led by Kathy Kingston, the Alex Donner Orchestra roused guests from their seats with an electrifying set of old and new favorites. Many guests showed off some fantastic moves and really held their own, even while dancing next to (or perhaps with) the trained professionals.

 

                                                                                              -- Amanda M. Grosvenor


To learn more about the Island Moving Company, visit www.islandmovingco.org

 

Brooke Van Gerbig

Sandy Peterson & John Brooks

Brent Erstad

Lori & Daniel Young, Ellen Barnes

Francesca & Kate Spinella

Dick, Monty & Morgan Burnham

Ginger creme brulee

Alyce Wright

 

Barbara Lloyd Baker, Dick Baker, Bart Dunbar

 

All set up inside the tent!

 

Balloon sculpture

 

Gathering before dinner

 

 

Didi Suydam & Jemma Craig

 

David & Judith Enstone

 

Dancers perform

 

Dancers perform

 

Dancers perform

 

Dancers perform

 

Taking a bow

 

Barbara & Warren Caldwell

 

Mary Beth Murphy, Derek Hansen, Vivi Valentine

 

Playing a little jazz piano

 

Dinner commences

 

A festive table display

 

Larry Brown & Yadira Titus

 

Rob Bailey & Teddy Aspegren

 

Rob Bailey speaks

 

John &  Maggie Shafmaster congratulate Miki Ohlsen (c.)

 

Thomas Palmer with Jemiston Faust

 

"ONE ..... singular sensation"

 

 

Ending the mystery box sale

 

Kate Spinella is pleased with the dinner

 

 

 

David Dubois channeling John Travolta in "Stayin Alive"

 

 

 

"A Chorus Line" strut

 

 

Don & Jana Jagoe on the dance floor

 

Danielle Genest & Glen Lewis making like Fred & Ginger

 

Terry Morgenthaler & Charlie Hayes

 

Passing the plates

 

Miki Ohlsen & Dominique Alfandre greeting dinner guests

 

Trudy Coxe & David Enstone

 

Applauding the dancers

 

Cabaret dancers

 

 A still from the film projected Liza Minnelli

 

Joan Martin dines!

 

Singing along

 

Sarah Williams, John Dalsheim

 

IMC dancers smile for the camera

 

Paul Szapary, Diana Sylvaria, Sarah Williams, John Dalsheim

  To purchase a high-res print of an image, contact
Linda (a) NewportSeen.com  All images copyrighted
Calendar of Events



 
 
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 


 

 



 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Past Headlines

Jessica Hagen Gallery Heralds Spring with James Coe Exhibit

Brenda Nienh ... more »

Two Private Soirées in Elegant, Historic Newport Homes

Allison Vare ... more »

Fifth Annual Daffodillion a Blooming Success: Spring Fling a Sellout

“So when you see clouds upon the hill, there soon will be crowds ... more »

 

 



 

NEWPORT SEEN:  "Best Online Media Creation"

-

"Best Online Writing" 

                         -- CT Press club & National League of Press Women