Recently, the Christopher Palacio Dance Project (CPDP) performance showcase was presented atop the stunning Sports Club/LA on the Upper East Side. Friends, family, and guests gathered for the evening's free presentation of a great array of choreographers, their equally diverse styles, and talented dancers.
The CPDP was created in 2013 by native New Yorker, Christopher Palacio, who continues to further his passion for dance by performing, teaching, and choreographing. Palacio notes, "I wanted to design an opportunity, not only for myself as an artist, but also for others who share my love of dance." To do so, Palacio decided to collaborate with The Sports Club/LA in presenting a showcase that would be informal and welcoming, allowing people to gather and experience dance in a quintessential New York fashion. The Club's expansive rooftop proves to be the perfect setting for such an event, with the skylines of Manhattan and Queens as its backdrop. An added bonus is the free nature of the evening, not only awarding a unique opportunity for the public to see dance, but also for choreographers to have their work seen.
The 2013 inaugural CPDP showcase featured four choreographers and eight works; the 2014 lineup doubled in size with twelve works and nine participating choreographers including Palacio, Yuka Kawazu, Amy Schulster, Jerica Niehoff, Ashlé Dawson, Janine Micheletti, Ethan Mayo, Heather Rigg, and Katelin Zelon.
Opening the June 19 program (which was unfortunately cut short due to rain) was a fun duet choreographed by Palacio, which he and partner Alexa performed with a musical theater-esque, upbeat energy. Palacio's later choreographed solo for a female dancer embraced a more contemporary dance style and angst-ridden theme. Kawazu's pas de deux aptly showed off her technically beautiful dancers, gliding through the moments of intricate partner work and lifts with elegance. The sustained moments and grounded quality of Schulster's trio continued the program's variety, as did Dawson's hot, Latin fusion work, conjuring a balance between powerful and sexy. Niehoff's Pitch Black - a whirlwind of accentuated, full body movement - and Micheletti's ensemble work - pinning a strutting, diva master among masked performers - proved particularly memorable.
As about half the lineup went unseen due to the inclement weather, including the choreography of Mayo, Rigg, Zelon, and additional works by Palacio and Schulster, another showcase is anticipated to take place by summer's end; stay tuned for details.