Dancers Responding to AIDS Host 21st Annual Fire Island Dance Festival


EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday July 14, 2015

Fire Island Dance Festival has captivated audiences for 20 years with a kaleidoscopic mix of famed and fast-rising dancers from ballet to Broadway and everything in between. See dance differently with the Great South Bay as a breathtaking backdrop for some of the most talked-about dance companies and choreographers in the industry including Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico, Pontus Lidberg Dance and more.

The 21st annual Fire Island Dance Festival (#fidance), returns to Fire Island Pines July 17-19, featuring:

º 10 Hairy Legs, a company that advances the understanding of the male role in dance, showcasing the male duet Bud, choreographed by Stephen Petronio.

º Ailey II, performing "The Shaking Duet" from Breakthrough, examining the struggle to connect in a world where connections are often just out of reach.

º Ballet Hispanico, presenting Sombrerísimo, an absorbing exploration of identity with six men in bowler hats with choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.

º Joshua Beamish, fresh from his collaboration in Restless Creature with Wendy Whelan, choreographing a duet featuring Dimitri Kleioris and Stephanie Williams.

º Al Blackstone, a New York-based choreographer and Capezio A.C.E. Award winner for Choreographic Excellence, premiering a dance about looking for love in all the wrong places.

º Mary Carmen Catoya and Kleber Rebello, former and current principals with Miami City Ballet respectively, in a dynamic pas de deux from Le Corsaire.

º Pontus Lidberg Dance, renowned contemporary ballet company who will make its Joyce Theatre debut in June, presenting a captivating duet by artistic director Pontus Lidberg with Boston Ballet principal Paulo Arrais.

º Charlie Williams, assistant choreographer for NBC's Sound of Music Live!, 85th Academy Awards and the Tony Awards, premiering his latest group number using the Delta Rae hit single "Dance in the Graveyards."

º Clifford Williams, an American contemporary dancer and 2015 Benois de la Danse nominee, performing the solo And So It Is choreographed by Dwight Rhoden.

º Manuel Vignoulle, a French choreographer who has danced with Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and whose work has been performed all over the world, premiering a contemporary male duet.

Intermezzo Dance Company will open Fire Island Dance Festival at the Friday night Leadership Event at Whyte Hall with a tale of secret romance and desire, artistically led by American Ballet Theatre soloist Craig Salstein. This is an intimate performance reserved exclusively for Leadership Supporters. Leadership Supporters also enjoy tickets to the highly coveted sunset performance on Saturday (or the best seats in the house at the 5 p.m. performances on Saturday and Sunday), along with prominent recognition in the harbor and throughout the Pines.

Last year's 20th anniversary celebration raised a ground-breaking $530,860, bringing the cumulative total to $3.8 million, helping to ensure that men, women and children in all 50 states receive lifesaving medications and health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.

Fire Island Dance Festival is generously sponsored by The New York Times, United Airlines, DIRECTV, Movmnt Magazine, Sayville Ferry and Tony's Barge, Inc.

Dancers Responding to AIDS 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 in all 50 states as well as the essential programs of The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative and The Dancers' Resource.

The celebration continues throughout the weekend with three Fire Island Dance Festival performances: the opening performance on Saturday, July 18 at 5 p.m. (cocktails starting at 4 p.m.); sunset performance on Saturday, July 18 at 7 p.m. (cocktails following); and closing performance on Sunday, July 19 at 5 p.m. (cocktails following).

Leadership tickets start at $350. Individual tickets for the 5 p.m. performances are $125.

Tickets for Fire Island Dance Festival are on sale now at, in person on weekends in the Fire Island Pines Harbor from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. or by phone at 212-840-0770, ext. 268.

For more information, please visit Dancers Responding to AIDS at, on Facebook at, on Twitter at, on Instagram at and on YouTube at