The Fire Island Dance Festival returns July 19-21, and if you've not yet experienced it, this is the year. Writer and comedian Mo Rocca once again serves as festival host of the event, which features more than 40 dancers against the background of the Fire Island Pines' Great South Bay.
Last year they raised more than $370,000 for Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations.
"The Fire Island Dance Festival is a wonderful platform for so many artists to get to share their work with the Fire Island dance community," says Kyle Abraham, one of the choreographers at this year's show. "It's just a wonderful venue -- an opportunity to share your work."
Starting at $125, with all proceeds going directly to the cause, showgoers can enjoy an open bar along with specially choreographed performances from renowned companies such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Broadway Dance Lab, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
"I want people to generally watch our work without any expectation," Abraham says. "Because I'm always interested to see -- whatever history you have before you watch our work, that's always going to be embedded in how you're viewing it."
The weekend-long festival is produced by and benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS. Since its debut in 1995, Fire Island Dance Festival has raised more than $2.9 million.