Fire Island Dance Festival, the most anticipated charitable event of the Fire Island summer, will take a hiatus in 2021 due to ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival will return to the shores of New York’s Great South Bay in 2022.
“While we had hoped to come together this summer, the challenges of presenting a festival that would feature dynamic lineups of acclaimed dance companies and choreographers proved too monumental to successfully tackle in this still uncertain landscape,” said Denise Roberts Hurlin, founding director of Dancers Responding to AIDS. “We are committed to returning to our breathtaking Fire Island Pines location in 2022, when we can gather together and enjoy the beauty of our full-scale festival.”
The 2022 festival is scheduled for July 15-17.
Despite the hiatus, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will continue its longstanding support of the Pines Care Center.
“The community on Fire Island has helped amplify the arts in such a meaningful and impactful way for decades,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said. “Thanks to generous supporters who have been by our side long before and certainly during the pandemic, we are still able to provide help for those who are struggling to find the health care and emergency assistance they need to survive and thrive.”
The Pines Care Center again will receive a $25,000 grant to help ensure the safety and health for residents and visitors to Fire Island.
Fire Island Dance Festival has been a mainstay on the island’s stunning shores since 1995, growing from an intimate fundraiser on a bayside deck to a weekend-long celebration of dance and philanthropy. The festival has raised more than $7.1 million for those in need.
A wealth of talent has graced the festivals’ waterfront stage in the Pines, including acclaimed dance companies like Acosta Danza, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispanico, Caleb Teicher & Company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, The Chase Brock Experience, Gallim Dance, Miami City Ballet, MOMIX and Paul Taylor Dance Company. Choreography has been showcased by Kyle Abraham, Monica Bill Barnes, Joshua Beamish, Al Blackstone, Gemma Bond, Michelle Dorrance, Marcelo Gomes, Lorin Latarro, Darrell Grand Moultrie, James Whiteside, Charlie Williams and Tony Award winners Rob Ashford, Jerry Mitchell and Christopher Wheeldon.
In 2020, the lauded dance festival went virtual for the first time in its 26-year history. The curated stream on July 17 highlighted three favorite pieces from past iterations and premiered three dances. The online event raised $295,366 for Dancers Responding to AIDS.
The original pieces came from Ayodele Casel, who tapped her solo Oscar Joy from her studio in the Bronx, NY; Larry Kiegwin, artistic director of KEIGWIN + COMPANY, who set movement on dancers isolating on Fire Island; and Stephen Petronio, who featured Lloyd Knight and Nicholas Sciscione in a piece set in his residency center in Round Top, NY.
With the absence of the 2021 festival and in light of the challenges many still face, continued generosity is vital. A donation of $10 a month will provide 48 meals this year for a person living with HIV. A one-time donation of $250 will provide 5 people with doctor visits or 20 meals for people living with HIV.