48 Summers of Grace: Fire Island Dance Festival 2023

The 48th Fire Island Dance Festival held in Fire Island Pines, which benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS, was an amazing showcase of 36 super dancers and special entertainment that was produced by Broadway Cares and sponsored by United Airlines.

Tony Award-winning superstar Alan Cumming was an extraordinary MC who told jokes, amusing stories and sang several songs. The production was flawless. Producers Denise Hurlin Roberts and Tom Viola were thrilled and graciously welcomed all to the performance. A cocktail hour was open to all attendees prior to showtime.

Two performances were presented on Saturday July 15, at the scheduled venue on the bay. Due to inclement weather on Sunday the performance was switched at the last hour to Whyte Hall.

Ten pieces were performed by various dancers of ballet and modern dance companies. Ahmad Joudeh danced to his own choreography and it was exciting. Derek Dunn and Shale Wagman were brilliant in “Dying Swans,” choreographed by Juliano Nunes. Members of Parsons Dance, founded by Artistic Director David Parsons and Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Howell Binkley, did a thrilling rendition of excerpts from “Whirlaway.”

Many thanks to those residents of the Pines who were so generous to support this event, not only by donating financially, but also to house the performers in many cases.

Let’s not forget Jack Schegal who was instrumental in originating this project, which has now become a yearly cultural event in the Pines as well as an event on the Broadway Cares calendar. We look forward to another year of ballet and beautiful people dancing on Fire Island.