Erica Gionfriddo is the Executive & Associate Artistic Director of ARCOS Dance. Beside the title stands Erica, an intense dancer and cutting-edge choreographer, intelligent and determined. Erica’s journey is atypical for a dancer. She began her formal training in her teens, a late start by some standards for a dancer. She then pursued a BFA at a small conservatory in Virginia. Later, having joined and toured internationally with a performing arts company, Erica then collaborated on new creative, contemporary dance company in the southwest, ARCOS Dance.
She, along with creative partners Curtis Uhlemann, ARCOS Artistic Director and Eliot Gray Fisher, ARCOS Multimedia Director, combine dance, evocative sound design, interactive video, and theatrical elements that innovate distinct new forms of performance relevant to today’s contemporary audience. Her passion for individual growth drives her to create a challenging and inspiring environment for dancers of all backgrounds to explore and develop as artists and as people.
A native of Enfield, Connecticut, Erica began formal dance training at age 16 and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance and Choreography, cum laude, from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. While completing her BFA she worked in residency with Second Wind Dance Company, Ekilibre Dance, and toured internationally in Spain and Taiwan. After a short apprenticeship she joined Moving People Dance in 2007 where she performed repertoire from resident choreographers and guests Robert Moses, Gail Gilbert, Arturo Fernandez, and John Lehrer.
As a choreographer Erica is heavily influenced by the work of Robert Moses, Juliu Horvath and her artistic partner and mentor, Curtis Uhlemann. Her work tends toward emotional expression through aggressive partnering, asymmetrical staging, and her exploration of intention and quality with each performer.
ARCOS embodies its mission by developing and performing original repertoire shows and evening-length multimedia productions. Curtis Uhlemann and Erica Gionfriddo co-choreograph in a process forged by their years of artistic partnership and insatiable appetites for visceral, athletic movement, collaborating dynamically with video artist and composer Eliot Gray Fisher.
Dancer Answer: Advice for Aspiring Young Dancers
Q: From Rebecca in CA, If you want to dance professionally but also want to attend college how do you make the decision what to do?
A: It comes down to what you truly want and if you can find a college program that is really right for you. It is not worthwhile to go an BFA program that you don’t enjoy just because you want to dance and it is entirely possible to study something else and dance as well. Ask yourself whether there is a Training program nearby to a school you can attend and get the degree you want? We’ve also had a few dancers that are able to attend college online and still pursue dance ~ so you just have to ask yourself what would make YOU happy. The education model is changing which is providing new opportunities for dancers.
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