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BC/EFA to Host PURE MOTION Benefit from Choreographer Ray Mercer

Choreographer Ray Mercer, winner of Joffrey Ballet's Choreographers of Color Award, will present Pure Motion (#puremotion), an evening of his dances produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The evening will feature two performances at 7 pm and 8:30 pm on Monday, February 29, 2016, at The Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York City.

Throughout Mercer's ongoing, 13-year run as a cast member of Disney's The Lion King on Broadway, he has simultaneously created work on the New Jersey Ballet, the Pensacola Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Philadanco and Ailey II. Mercer also has been a guest artist for the Boston Ballet and has worked with Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin and Garth Fagan. Mercer's dynamic, visually striking and thought-provoking choreography has won the best onstage presentation award seven times at Broadway Cares' annual Gypsy of the Year and Easter Bonnet Competition.

The prolific choreographer will present some of New York's most promising dancers in seven contemporary pieces, including one premiere created especially for the event. The evening will provide a fitting closure to Black History Month, which is celebrated during the month of February.

"I was thrilled when Ray, a longtime friend and supporter of Broadway Cares, chose to dedicate the first ever full evening of his work to us," said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. "Ray's powerful and provocative choreography has captivated audiences at Broadway Cares' events and beyond for years and this will be a truly unique opportunity to experience his talent in full-scale."

Tickets range from $40-$250 and are now available at or by calling 212.840.0770, ext 268. VIP ticket buyers will enjoy a private reception with Mercer and the cast immediately after the 8:30 pm performance.

Pure Motion is generously sponsored by The New York Times and United Airlines.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is 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 community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares 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 and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, and awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states.

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