Imagine a company composed of students from all different studios. The company does not exist to compete; rather, it exists to perform, unite, and allow dancers to build relationships and share their passions. This might seem like a farfetched, impossible, idealistic dream, but in Long Island, New York, that is exactly what Company Directors, Daniel Longo and Joseph Crescimanno, have created with Arrhythmia, a Pre-Professional Performance Company.
Arrhythmia found its pulse in 2010. Daniel had recently graduated college and wanted to find a non-competitive, non-studio ownership based avenue to provide students and artists a niche to foster artistic development in a rich, loving environment. With his Co-Director and Partner, Joseph, the two determined that the intent of the company would be to unite supporters from a variety of different studios via performance opportunities, choreography, and audition experiences.
In order for their idea to work, Daniel and Joseph realized they would have to develop a unique approach to funding and scheduling. Company members do not pay yearly fees; rather, they have an annual fundraising goal they must complete each season. In addition to fundraising, Daniel and Joseph also maintain their promise to local Studio Owners that Arrhythmia will not interfere with studio schedules and students’ competitive responsibilities.
While the premise of the company was first met with hesitancy and skepticism, Long Island Studio Owners have now embraced having a local, performance-based company. In fact, local studios often help Arrhythmia with costuming and rehearsal space. Arrhythmia greatly appreciates the support, and, to demonstrate their unity, the company annually hosts a charitable Choreographer’s Showcase that combines the work of studios and Arrhythmia (and, instead of selling tickets, admission is based on a donation to Toys for Tots).
Cheryl Ringer, a company member of one year (and a former competitive dancer), describes the 2012 Toys for Tots Benefit as her most memorable experience with the group, explaining that “I had family, friends, two of my previous dance teachers, and countless teammates from my years of competing cheering me on and it was an amazing feeling of being supported by so many people I have met and danced with over the years.”
The love for Arrhythmia is strong with company members’ eager and hungry to participate and contribute to the group’s artistry. In 2010, the group launched with 9 members. Three years later, Arrhythmia boasts over 40 company members, ranging from ages 7-22 and representing approximately 12 different studios.
The draw of Arrhythmia is undoubtedly the investment Daniel and Joseph provide for each company member. The company performs an annual showcase and has performed at Alvin Ailey, Symphony Space, and as a part of New York City’s Young Choreographer’s Festival. Daniel and Joseph are constantly working, planning, and seeking opportunities that will benefit each of their performers and their short/long-term goals.
Lisa Kushner, a company member of one year, credits Arrhythmia for allowing her to find her own freedom and style in her movement. She also credits the company members for making the experience exceptionally memorable, describing it as, “I will never ever forget the people I’ve met and friends I’ve made, especially directors, Dan and Joe. They are so welcoming, warm, talented, and just overall great people and I am so blessed to have them apart of my life.”
Arrhythmia’s pulse may be slightly unique and different from the standard model of a pre-professional youth company, but those differences are the heart, soul, and legacy of the company. And, based on what Arrhythmia, has accomplished in a mere three years, their legacy will only continue grow, making them core to their local arts scene and a model of inspiration to the dance industry.
Arrhythmia will perform their Annual Company Showcase on Friday, July 26th at Bayport- Blue Point High School in Bayport. Tickets are available via the company’s website: www.arrhythmiadance.com. For booking inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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