Fire Island Dance Festival’s 20th Anniversary

Fire Island Dance Festival in New YorkThe much-anticipated 20th anniversary of Fire Island Dance Festival takes the stage July 18-20 as some of the top dancers and dance companies in the country offer a diverse array of artistry and genres. The festival, performed outdoors on the beautiful Great South Bay between Long Island and Fire Island in New York, is produced by and benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Since its humble beginnings in 1995, the festival has grown to become the cultural and charitable event of the summer in Fire Island Pines, raising more than $3.3 million.


The 20th Fire Island Dance Festival will include performances by: Ailey II, presenting the beloved “Wade in the Water” from Revelations, an exciting return after the piece was performed at the festival in 2003; BalletCollective, displaying the collaborative vision of artists from different genres in an intriguing new work choreographed by Troy Schumacher, a member of the corps de ballet for New York City Ballet; and Kristine Bendul, Waldemar Quiñones-Villanueva and Ryan Worsing, performing In the Garden, an elegant pas de trois originally choreographed and performed for Broadway Bares VII by Arte Phillips.


A few highlights to look forward to include: Complexions Contemporary Ballet, known for its aesthetically dynamic multicultural style, premiering a piece choreographed by Marcelo Gomes; Sara Mearns, principal dancer for New York City Ballet, starring with eight male dancers in a new work created by Emmy Award-winning choreographer Josh Bergasse; and Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu, a San Francisco-based company sharing the cultural richness of Hawaii through hula dance, featuring a male trio with innovative hula choreographer Patrick Makuakāne.


In addition, Nick Kenkel, a gifted Broadway veteran-turned-choreographer and director, will premiere an energetic, Afropop-infused group number. Plus, Marcelo Gomes, renowned principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre, will perform the romantic balcony pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet.


The festival will kick off its 20th anniversary celebrations on Friday, July 18 with a special event for Leadership Supporters. They will enjoy a performance by Mark Stuart Dance Theatre, which will present excerpts from its dance musical Standard Time. A celebration of love’s power to defy social barriers, Standard Time features hit standards from the 1930s, 1960s and 2000s performed by 14 dancers, four vocalists and a six-piece band.


The celebration continues throughout the weekend with three jam-packed festival performances: the official opening performance on Saturday, July 19 at 5 p.m.; the sunset performance that night at 7 p.m.; and closing performance on Sunday, July 20 at 5 p.m.


For more information or to book tickets to the 2014 Fire Island Dance Festival, visit or call 212-840-0770.



Photo (top): New York City Ballet Principal Wendy Whelan and Soloist Craig Hall performing Christopher Wheeldon’s Liturgy at the sunset performance during the 17th Fire Island Dance Festival. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Fire Island Dance Festival.

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