Rob Ashford, MOMIX Included in Fire Island Dance Festival, July 20-22

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Fire Island Dance Festival, the premier cultural event of the season on Fire Island, returns July 20-22, 2012, for its 18th edition and will feature debut performances and stunning encores by some of the hottest dance companies in the industry, spanning ballet to Broadway, all performed outdoors against the dazzling backdrop of the Great South Bay. The highly anticipated event is produced by and benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The weekend kicks off with the Friday night Leadership Event, an intimate evening reserved for Leadership Supporters. The excitement continues throughout the weekend with three Fire Island Dance Festival performances featuring famed and fast-rising dancers.

The festival will showcase a pièce d'occasion by Tony Award-winning choreographer and director Rob Ashford. Ashford’s latest work can be seen in the current Broadway hits Evita and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Additional performers and this year's host will be announced later. Fire Island Dance Festival 18 also will include performances by:

· The Australian Ballet, making its Fire Island debut and celebrating its 50th anniversary with a solo danced by principal Yosvani Ramos, a charismatic dancer with a striking stage presence

· Ballet Hispanico, the foremost dance representative of Hispanic culture in the United States, collaborating with acclaimed choreographer Edwaard Liang in a world premiere piece

· MOMIX, with an encore performance of the mesmerizing “Aqua Flora,” featuring Nicole Loizides as she becomes a dazzling whirling dervish dressed in hanging strands of beads

· 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” that explores gender roles and the empowerment of sexy, red stilettos

Leadership Supporters enjoy an exclusive festival experience including the Leadership Event with cocktails on Friday, highly coveted tickets to the Leadership Sunset Performance on Saturday and prominent recognition at the harbor and throughout the Pines. Performing at this year's Leadership Event will be 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.

Leadership Tickets are available online at dradance.org or by phone at 212.840.0770, ext. 268. Beginning May 26, tickets also will be available in person on weekends in the Fire Island Pines harbor. Performance-only tickets will be available starting June 9.

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 at facebook.com/DRAdance or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/DRA_Dance.