Have you ever watched a dance performance and wished the beautiful choreography before you wasn’t bound by the staid setting of theatre? The Fire Island Dance Festival unleashes world-class performers, presenting them on a brilliant white stage built on the water against the gorgeous backdrop that is New York’s Great South Bay.
The festival takes place in ‘The Pines,’ a subdued neighborhood of Manhattanite weekend mansions famed for a social calendar packed with charitable fundraisers and cocktail parties. Indeed, the stage is built at the end of the garden on those very mansions.
If you think this all sounds very lovey-dovey, you’d be right. By that shouldn’t put you off attending. This year’s festival will feature a solo by Yosvani Ramos, principal of the Australian Ballet, Ballet Hispanico performing a world-premiere piece and a hip-hop company called Puremovement pulling gravity-defying poses. All great, but we suspect Sidra Bell Dance New York’s ‘unconventional male duet exploring gender roles and the empowerment of sexy, red stilettos’ might steal the limelight.
This being a fundraiser tickets don’t come cheap! General admission tickets for tonight’s festival closing show cost a cool $125. Still it’s for a good cause. And the setting sun, gentle breeze and gentle lapping of the bay are spectacular. Naturally, there’s a cocktail party after the show. Entry to it is included in price of admission.
Getting to Fire Island’s a fun challenge. Well, a challenge anyway. Fire Island may only be off Long Island, but transportation is seriously complicated by the fact that cars aren’t allowed on it. The only way over is by ferry, and after that you’re on foot. Good news though, the island’s only one mile across at its widest. So you shouldn’t have to do too much walking.
Run jointly by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the festival is now in its 18th year. The charitable benefit fundraises for the Dancers Responding to AIDS program, an initiative that provides support to the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children living throughout the world with HIV.
For a taste of what the festival is all about check out some of the highlights from the 2010 event below.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…