Presented by Akia Deyvon & The Creative Reaction Company, the 3rd edition of the annual Choreographer’s Showcase event, Next In Line Choreographer’s Showcase, took place on Sunday, November 12th, 2023, at Venice Island. The purpose of this event is to shine a light on local choreographers by providing them with a platform to create a personal body of work to share with the Philadelphia community. “Peace Disrupted, Reclaimed by Force” was a piece choreographed by Alexis Curiel, representing Miami and Philly. The piece showcased hip-hop, house, and street jazz dance styles.
Dancers donned all-black outfits accented with shades of blue and purple accessories as they took the stage against a starlight blue and purple gradient backdrop. As the music began, dancers seamlessly melted into various improvised poses. They formed a grid formation and began house dancing to Victoria Monet’s “Alright.” The choreography balanced between hard-hitting movements that rode the beat and smooth undulations that mimicked Monet’s vocals. Intricate formation patterns continued to be a theme, with dancers shifting between diagonals and grid lines effortlessly. More dancers entered the space to join in the house choreography, and formations shifted into circles as dancers faced each other inward towards the center. They continued to shift closer together in a tighter clump before spreading out in a more dispersed set of lines. Emphasis on the backbeat of the song was accentuated as the choreography continued into a short popping section, showcasing Curiel’s special ear for music cues.
The music transitioned to “Moments” by Diddy/Justin Bieber, featuring three male-female duos with varying levels of intimacy, ranging from a monogamous couple, unreciprocated love, to a toxic on-again, off-again relationship. The men from the duos shared a high-energy trio section with formations changing between a shifting circle and one in front with two in the back.
Other dancers emerged onto the stage, striking strong, elaborate poses, now dressed in red-accented accessories against the all-black outfits. Suddenly, a female dancer approached a male from the trio and used both arms to disarm him to the ground. The lights changed to an orange-red gradient as an eerie tone rang out. Doechii’s “Pacer” fueled this new section, clearly differing from the energy of the previous sections. The choreography demonstrated intricate hand placements, complete with choreographed facial expressions to match. Athleticism was showcased as dancers flipped on the ground, surprising the audience. This hip-hop section allowed dancers to let their individual personalities shine while blending together seamlessly. Bold facial expressions continued to be a theme, particularly near the end in a quieter part of the music, where dancers silently screamed before transitioning to more euphoric expressions. Curiel played with themes, balancing between rage and ecstasy.
Curiel’s inclination to take risks is evident through complex choreography, stringent yet ever-changing formations, bold use of facial expressions, and a deep sense of community between dancers. “When the pursuits towards those who desire to be at peace progress in aggression, boundaries are crossed, breaking points are reached, lessons are taught, and what was once disrupted becomes reclaimed.” – Curiel