Mo Rocca to Return as Host of 2013 FIRE ISLAND DANCE FESTIVAL, 7/19-21


Wildly entertaining humorist and actor Mo Rocca returns this summer for a second turn as host of Fire Island Dance Festival, the most-anticipated charity event to land on the shores of the Great South Bay. Fire Island Dance Festival is July 19-21 and features more than 40 dancers from world-class dance companies. It is produced by and benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The 19th edition of will include a stunningly varied program spanning Broadway to ballet, performed outdoors at a landmark bay-front home.

As host, Rocca will once again bring to Fire Island Pines his off-beat and satirical commentary, which can regularly be seen on CBS Sunday Morning and Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli and heard on NPR's hit weekly quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!. "The energy at the festival is simply fantastic," Rocca said. "It's so much fun because there's such a unified feeling in the crowd. It's wonderful. I could have hosted last year's program again and again just to see those dances over and over."

For his return engagement, Rocca has promised a special dance number of his own as an added treat for the audience. A former president and author of Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Show, Rocca is no stranger to the stage. He performed on Broadway as Vice Principal Douglas Panch in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and as Doody on the Southeast Asian tour of Grease. He also spent four seasons as a correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

This year's Fire Island Dance Festival also will include performances by:

· Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, displaying an explosive confrontation of wits and prowess in Robert Battle's "Strange Humors"
· BODYTRAFFIC, performing "o2Joy," an expression of sheer joy set to great American jazz music that is peppered with syncopated hip-hop and drenched in light-hearted humor
· The Broadway Dance Lab, founded by Broadway choreographer Josh Prince, celebrating the repeal of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a music theatre piece set to "The Anvil Chorus"
· Evidence, A Dance Company, honoring the life and memory of dancer Beth Young in a heartfelt, joyous excerpt from "Torch"
· Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck, principal dancers at New York City Ballet, presenting "A Place For Us," a playfully romantic duet by internationally acclaimed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon
· Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, hailed by Out Magazine as the "best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama," premiering a fast-paced group piece set to "Beautiful Mechanical" by yMusic
· Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, presenting the most famous male duet in the international dance world, "Concerto Six-Twenty Two"
· Pontus Lidberg, one of the great choreographic talents of Sweden, premiering a contemporary ballet piece featuring New York City Ballet principal dancer Adrian Danchig-Waring
· Jeremy McQueen, displaying his meticulous, kinetic choreography in a world premiere set to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' No. 1 single "Can't Hold Us"
· Paul Taylor Dance Company, depicting the 1960's appetite for love and drugs in a solo from "A Field of Grass" performed by Robert Kleinendorst

Keigwin + Company, an electrifying contemporary dance company that embodies a theatrical sensibility of wit, style and heart will present a special performance on Friday, July 19, as part of an exclusive festival kick-off event reserved for Leadership Supporters.

Ticket buyers are offered a choice of performances: opening performance on Saturday, July 20 at 5 pm (open bar starting at 4 pm); Leadership Sunset Performance on Saturday, July 20 at 7 pm (open bar following); closing performance on Sunday, July 21 at 5 pm (open bar following). Tickets are available online at or by phone at 212.840.0770, ext. 268. Tickets also are available in person on weekends in the Fire Island Pines Harbor from 10 am - 1 pm. Leadership tickets start at $325 and individual tickets for the 5 pm performances are $125, including open bar.

Dancers Responding to AIDS, founded in 1991 by former Paul Taylor Dance Company members Denise Roberts Hurlin and Hernando Cortez, relies on the extraordinary compassion and efforts of the performing arts community to fund a safety net of social services for those in need. As a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, DRA supports more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide as well as the essential programs of The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative and The Dancers' Resource. Through these organizations and programs, DRA and Broadway Cares help to ensure that those in need have access to medicines, counseling, healthy meals, supportive housing and emergency financial assistance. For more information, please visit Dancers Responding to AIDS online at, like us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter at and watch us on YouTube at

Photo Credit: Walter McBride