Joel Grey To Emcee Fire Island Dance Festival Benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS

Robert Fairchild & Travis Wall in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Us” – Fire Island Dance Festival 2018

Cabaret’s original master of ceremonies, the legendary Joel Grey, will host the 25th anniversary edition of Fire Island Dance Festival on July 19-21, 2019, in Fire Island Pines, NY.

Produced by and benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Fire Island Dance Festival (#fidance) will bring six world premiere works and some of the world’s most celebrated choreographers and dance companies to a picturesque waterfront stage on the Great South Bay.

Grey is best known for his Tony and Academy Award- winning performances in Cabaret. He’s also the heralded director of Off-Broadway’s current hit Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish and co-director of the 2011 Tony-winning production of The Normal Heart (a show in which he starred in its original Off-Broadway run). His illustrious career includes scores of movies, television roles and 15 Broadway credits, including Anything Goes, Chicago, George M! and Wicked.

Joel Grey (Photo by Henry Leutwyler)

Tickets for Fire Island Dance Festival are on sale now at or by phone at 212.840.0770, ext. 229. Tickets are also available in person 10 am – 1 pm on Saturdays and Sundays in the Fire Island Pines harbor.

The companies and choreographers performing at this year’s Fire Island Dance Festival are:

  • A.I.M, founded by Kyle Abraham, premiering an excerpt of a work that will debut in full in 2020 featuring Tamisha Guy and American Ballet Theatre’s Calvin Royal III
  • The legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presenting “Sinner Man,” an excerpt of the company’s lauded masterwork Revelations
  • Emmy Award nominee and Fire Island Dance Festival favorite Al Blackstone presenting a world premiere about the history of the Fire Island Pines set in the 1970s
  • Dorrance Dance presenting a world premiere tap piece featuring Tony nominee and former New York City Ballet principal dancer Robert Fairchild
  • Martha Nichols (The Greatest Showman, La La Land) presenting a solo piece performed by Ballet BC’s Jordan Lang
  • MOMIX performing the energetic and irresistible Pole Dance
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company sharing Sunset, an iconic piece from Taylor’s legendary repertoire
  • Choreographer Garrett Smith sharing a world premiere performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet principal Lucien Postlewaite and corps de ballet member Christopher D’Ariano
  • Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon sharing a world premiere work
  • American Ballet Theatre principal dancer James Whiteside sharing a world premiere performed by fellow ABT dancers corps de ballet member Aran Bell and soloist Catherine Hurlin

Fire Island Dance Festival 2019

Ephrat Asherie Dance, a New York City-based company rooted in street and social dance, will kick off the festival Friday night at the Leadership Event at Whyte Hall, which is reserved exclusively for Leadership Supporters. Leadership Supporters also enjoy tickets to the highly coveted sunset performance on Saturday or the best seats in the house at the 5 pm performances on Saturday or Sunday, along with prominent recognition in the harbor and throughout the Pines.

The unmissable performances will take place at three Fire Island Dance Festival shows: the opening performance at 5 pm on Saturday, July 20; the sunset performance at 7 pm on Saturday, July 20; and the closing performance at 5 pm on Sunday, July 21. New this year: cocktails follow each performance at The Pines’ Whyte Hall.

Leadership tickets start at $375. Individual tickets for the 5 pm performances are $175.

A hassle-free daytrip package is available, which features round-trip luxury transportation from New York City, a champagne luncheon and tickets to the 5 pm performance on Sunday, July 21. A Sunday VIP option, which includes the champagne luncheon and tickets to the Sunday show without the transportation, also is available. The daytrip package is $275; the Sunday VIP option is $225.

Complimentary roundtrip water taxi service to and from the festival on the Fire Island Pines is available, courtesy of Fire Island Water Taxi.

About Fire Island Dance Festival and Dancers Responding to AIDS

Last year’s event raised a record-breaking $604,103, with more than $6.1 million raised since the festival began in 1995. Through their generous support, Fire Island Dance Festival attendees have helped ensure that those in need throughout the New York area and in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. receive lifesaving medications, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.

In honor of Dancers Responding to AIDS supporters and the festival’s 25th anniversary, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is adding the Pines Care Center to its National Grants Program. This now-annual $7,500 grant will support a rapid HIV testing initiative throughout the Pines’ season.

Dancers Responding to AIDS 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 the essential programs of The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative and The Dancers’ Resource, as well as more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.

For more information, please visit Dancers Responding to AIDS at, at, at, at and at


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