Island Moving Company names Genest new artistic director

NEWPORT – Contemporary ballet nonprofit Island Moving Company announced on March 21 that Danielle Genest was appointed as the organization’s new artistic director.

Genest, currently Island Moving Company’s associate artistic director, will succeed Miki Ohlsen as artistic director on Sept. 1. Ohlsen, who has been the organization’s artistic director since Island Moving Company’s inception in 1982, is retiring in August, the organization said.

“I am thrilled at the honor of becoming artistic director of Island Moving Company and carrying on the incredible legacy that Miki has built,” Genest said in a statement. “The company is at a pivotal moment in its existence, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary and await the advent of our new home, our Center for Dance and Education.”

Island Moving Company said Genest began her dance studies at Newport Academy of Ballet as a young dancer under Ohlsen’s direction and mentorship. She served on the faculty of Ballet School New York, Providence Ballet, Spindle City Ballet’s Dance Academy and Newport Academy of Ballet.

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Additionally, the organization said, Genest’s choreographic work has been commissioned by New York Theatre Ballet, Tallahassee Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence, Island Moving Company and several universities, including Salve Regina University.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.