In addition to boys, booze and the beach, vacationers on Fire Island last weekend had the chance to enjoy the legendary Fire Island Dance Festival, an annual performance series benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
From July 20-23, out humorist Mo Rocca introduced performances by Ballet Hispanico, Project Moves Dance Company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Momix, and other acclaimed companies—as well as a special piece commissioned for the festival by Rob Ashford, choreographer for Broadway’s Evita. Rocca proved he was no slouch himself, performing an agile series of Jellicle dance moves from Cats and doing a one-handed cartwheel while holding a glass of water.
When the ticket sales from the waterfront spectacle were tallied, it turned out this year’s shows nabbed a record-breaking $374,260, topping last year’s record by more than $30,000. In its 18 years, the festival has raised more than $2.9 million.
“It doesn’t seem that long ago that we first came out to Fire Island Pines and raised $8,000 with 10 performers on a make-shift dance floor,” said Dancers Responding to AIDS founder Denise Roberts Hurlin. “And the reasons we do it today are just as strong and resonant as they were 18 years ago. We’re fighting to end the stigma that surrounds this disease and to make sure that no one facing these intense personal challenges does so in isolation or shame.”
Click through for more images from Fire Island Dance Festival 18
Photos: Danny Roberts