To New York's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, Fire Island is known as a glittering paradise of sand and surf.
But last weekend, the popular resort became a seaside stage as well, drawing members from some of the world's best-known dance troupes to the community for the Fire Island Dance Festival 18.
The 11 diverse numbers ranged from "Something Like Sammy," a contemporary spin on a classic tap routine, to "Human," a lyrical number with a powerful anti-bullying subtext. Undoubtedly the show's most seductive moment came during Rob Ashford's "Plain Gold Ring," in which eight stripped-down, hard-bodied dancers portrayed the evolution of a couple's relationship -- all set against the dramatic backdrop of the Great South Bay at twilight.
More exciting, still, was the staggering $374,260 the annual benefit's three performances raised for Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (which also produced the annual Broadway Bares event, held in June).
“It doesn’t seem that long ago that we first came out to Fire Island Pines and raised $8,000 with 10 performers on a make-shift dance floor," Denise Roberts Hurlin, founding director of Dancers Responding to AIDS (and a Huffington Post blogger) said in a statement. "And the reasons we do it today are just as strong and resonant as they were 18 years ago. We’re fighting to end the stigma that surrounds this disease and to make sure that no one facing these intense personal challenges does so in isolation or shame."
Take a look at some photos from the Fire Island Dance Festival 18 below: