Annu.al Edition of
Island Dance Festival
Pushes All-time Fundraising Past $3 Million Mark
by and benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS,
a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Featuring 10 captivating
including Alvin Ailey
American Dance Theater and Paul Taylor Dance Company
plus choreography by
Kyle Abraham, Lar Lubovitch,
Jeremy McQueen and
Internationally recognized dance companies
and fast-rising choreographers shared the picturesque stage of the 19th annual
edition of Fire Island Dance Festival on July 19-21, raising a record $393,647
for Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
For the third year in a row the festival set a fundraising record,
surpassing last year’s all-time high of $374,260. In its 19 editions, Fire
Island Dance Festival has raised $3.3 million for the most vulnerable among us,
helping to ensure they receive life-saving medications and health care,
nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.
The festival, performed outdoors on the shores of the Great South
Bay in Fire Island Pines, included world premieres of works choreographed by
Kyle Abraham, Pontus Lidberg, Jeremy McQueen and Josh Prince.
Humorist, actor and writer Mo Rocca returned for a second year as
host, this time sharing his dance prowess in a whimsical, Al
Blackstone-choreographed version of “Turkey Lurkey Time” from the Broadway
musical Promises, Promises. Rocca is a regular on CBS Sunday Morning,
star of Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli and a featured
panelist on NPR's hit weekly quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!
This year’s Fire Island Dance Festival featured more than 50
professional dancers entertaining standing-room-only crowds with ballet,
modern, contemporary and Broadway dance.
“It's humbling to see, year after year, the support of the Fire Island Pines
community, our generous donors and sponsors, the immensely talented dancers and
choreographers and our committed core of tireless volunteers” said Denise
Roberts Hurlin, founding director of Dancers Responding to AIDS. "When we
started this event I never dreamed that so many would continually join us in
this fight, which is as important today as it was 19 years ago.”
This year's Fire Island Dance Festival included 10 memorable
· Alvin Ailey American
Dance Theater offered Robert Battle’s “Strange Humors,” a bare-chested male
duet exploring mysterious passions and explosive confrontations of wits and
prowess. The dance was once described by Battle as a deconstructed exploration
of his fascination with the tango.
· Three exuberant dancers
from Los Angeles-based BODYTRAFFIC delivered “o2joy,” a playful, contemporary
dance piece set to great American jazz music that expressed the pure love of
dance with lighthearted humor.
· The Broadway Dance Lab,
in a number choreographed by founder Josh Prince, drafted six men to celebrate
the repeal of the U.S. military's “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in an
exuberant theatrical piece honoring soldiers’ right to serve and to love.
· Evidence, A Dance
Company, brought each performance to a joyous
conclusion with “Torch,” a celebratory jubilation that brought audience members
to their feet. The number was created by Ronald K. Brown, who choreographed the
recent Broadway revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.
· Fresh from its debut
this spring, the Christopher Wheeldon-choreographed “A Place for Us” featured
Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck, principal dancers at New York City Ballet.
This intimately romantic pas de deux illuminated the real-life couple’s
chemistry, offering the audience a rare opportunity to witness their artistry
Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion premiered the uplifting “When We Take Flight,” a
departure from Abraham’s usual introspective intensity featuring eight dancers
weaving on and off stage in stunning sheer tunics designed by Reid Bartelme.
· Lar Lubovitch Dance
Company presented the male duet from “Concerto Six‐Twenty Two” which
became an anthem for the dance community in the early days of the AIDS crisis.
The piece emotionally showed a relationship between the men where the gentle
intertwining of arms and hands felt as powerful as the grandest leaps.
· Pontus Lidberg explored
his love for and fascination with water through seamlessly fluid movement that
mirrored the changing tides of the Great South Bay, culminating with a
breathtaking solo moment of him gazing out at the stunning vista beyond the
· Jeremy McQueen emerged as a choreographer with great promise
in his tour de force “Only the Beginning” set to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’
No. 1 hit “Can’t Hold Us.” In sexy couture by Eric Wintering, eight empowered
dancers leapt, battled and triumphed in an unforgettable performance.
· Paul Taylor Dance Company brought us back to the 1960s and
the summer of love in a solo excerpt from “A Field of Grass,” effortlessly
performed by Robert Kleinendorst who captured the hippie feel of the time with
an ease of movement set to the music of singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson.
Photos by Danny Roberts
Keigwin + Company
presented a crowd-pleasing array of Keigwin’s high-energy and quirky favorite
dances for a special performance July 19 as part of an exclusive festival
kick-off event for Leadership Supporters at the Albert Lepage Pavilion at Whyte
Fire Island Dance Festival was sponsored by The New York Times
and United Airlines. Other major supporters include DIRECTV, Judy Dove and
Joyce Walter, Fire Island Pines Arts Project, Karl Kemp, Rockefeller Brothers
Fund and generous support in memory of Tom Morgan.
Dancers Responding to
AIDS, founded in 1991 by former Paul Taylor Dance Company members Denise
Roberts Hurlin and Hernando Cortez, relies on the extraordinary compassion and
efforts of the performing arts community to fund a safety net of social
services for those in need. As a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS,
DRA supports more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide as
well as the essential programs of The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS
Initiative and The Dancers' Resource. Through these organizations and programs,
DRA and Broadway Cares help to ensure that those in need have access to
medicines, counseling, healthy meals, supportive housing and emergency financial
For more information, please visit Dancers Responding to AIDS at dradance.org, like us on Facebook at
facebook.com/DRAdance, follow us on Twitter
at twitter.com/DRAdance and watch us on YouTube