Humorist, actor and writer Mo Rocca will host Fire Island Dance Festival 18 on the shores of the Great South Bay July 20-22, 2012. This year's festival, featuring 10 famed and fast-rising dancers, dance companies and choreographers is produced by and benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It isan eclectic program of ballet, modern, tap, hip-hop, Broadway and contemporary dance performed outdoors at a landmark bay-front home with the dazzling backdrop of the beautiful Bay.
As host, Rocca will bring his off-beat and satirical commentary, which can regularly be seen on CBS News SundayMorning and Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli and heard on NPR's hit weekly quiz show, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!. He also spent four seasons as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewartand on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
The event will showcase a pièce d'occasion by Tony Award-winning choreographer and director Rob Ashford. His work can be seen in the current Broadway hit Evita and recently in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.This year’s festivalwill include performances by:
· Ballet Hispanico, the foremost dance representative of Hispanic culture in the United States, collaborating with acclaimed choreographer Edwaard Liang in a world premier piece
· David Grenke Performance Projects, presenting, for the first time, an all-male version of "Vespers," a compelling duet set to the music of Tom Waits
· Jared Grimes, a young and vibrant tap extraordinaire whose dazzling feet move at electrifying speeds
· MOMIX, with an encore performance of the mesmerizing "Aqua Flora," last seen at the festival in 2007, featuring a dazzling whirling dervish dressed in hanging strands of crystal beads
· Monica Bill Barnes & Company, a contemporary American dance company celebrating individuality, humor and the innate theatricality of everyday life
· Project Moves Dance Company, fresh from a featured performance on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, sharing their youthful take on respect and acceptance
· Yosvani Ramos, a charismatic dancer from Cuba and principal at The Australian Ballet, making his Fire Island debut with a pulsating contemporary solo
· Rennie Harris Puremovement, one of the few authentic hip-hop companies in America, performing its mind-blowing stunts and gravity-defying poses for the first time at the festival
· Sidra Bell Dance New York, performing an unconventional male duet from "ReVUE" exploring gender roles and the empowerment of sexy, red stilettos
Parsons Dance, an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company known for their extraordinary artistry and engaging repertoire, and The Bang Group, a theatrical dance troupe with a vaudeville style mixing musical comedy with classical ballet will present a special performance on Friday, July 20, as part of an exclusive festival kick-off event reserved for Leadership Supporters.
Tickets are available in person on weekends in the Fire Island Pines Harbor, online at dradance.org or by phone at212.840.0770, ext. 268. Ticket buyers are offered a choice of performances: opening performance on Saturday, July 21 at 5 pm (cocktails at 4 pm); Leadership Sunset Performance on Saturday, July 21 at 7 pm (cocktails following); closing performance on Sunday, July 22 at 5 pm (cocktails following).
Dancers Responding to AIDS, founded in 1991 by former Paul Taylor Dance Company members Denise Roberts Hurlin and Hernando Cortez, is a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre and dance communities, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $195 million for essential services for people struggling with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses across the United States. Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic and The Dancers’ Resource. For more information, please visit Dancers Responding to AIDS online at dradance.org, like us on Facebook atfacebook.com/DRAdance or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/DRA_Dance.