Performance: Justine A. Chambers

Friday, December 2 / 7pm
Teck Gallery
515 West Hastings Street

Justine A. Chambers’ movement-based work Archives and Heirlooms is created in response to the illustrations that exhibiting artist Adriana Contreras created from four hours of oral history interviews focused on her dancing life that Chambers undertook with curator Seika Boye. Contreras’ large-scale graphics hang in Teck Gallery as part of It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900 - 1970 and Now.

The re-telling of Chambers’ dance history dislodged past movements and stirred up an archive of dance "heirlooms" in the dancer’s body: Archives and Heirlooms is devised through the reactivation of scores from past work, while in real time, Chambers calls up the movements she received as a dancer that have embedded themselves in her body through a lifetime in dance.

This is the second in a series of presentations of It’s About Time that works to centre artist involvement in the documentation of their dancing lives. Contreras’ graphic response as a record and art object is offered back to the dance artist and her community as a gift of thanks for sharing their stories. Chambers’ performance will culminate the exhibition on December 2, 2022 at Teck Gallery.


A short talkback with Chambers, Seika Boye and Adriana Contreras will follow the performance. No registration required but seating will be limited. Light refreshments will be available.


Justine A. Chambers is a choreographer, dancer and educator living and working on the traditional and ancestral Coast Salish territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her movement-based practice considers how choreography can be an empathic practice rooted in collaborative creation, close observation, and the body as a site of a cumulative embodied archive. She is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother.

Adriana Contreras is an Interdisciplinary Artist, bilingual Graphic Recorder and Illustrator (English and Spanish), born in Bogotá, Colombia, living and working with respect and gratitude on the unceded, traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh First Nations. Artistic expression has always been a central part of Adriana's life but became an essential tool for navigating the world as a first-generation immigrant. Her migration journey profoundly informs her work and commitment to social justice at a local and global level. Adriana completed her BFA at SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts in 2006 and has worked at numerous local Arts organizations for over the past 20 years.

Seika Boye is a scholar, writer, educator, and artist whose practices revolve around dance and movement. She is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Institute for Dance Studies at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto. Seika curated the archival exhibition It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900–1970 and co-curated Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario. Her publications have appeared in numerous academic journals and magazines, and she was an Artist-in-Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario (2018). She was the Toronto District School Board’s African Heritage Educators’ Network Arts Honoree (2019) and in 2020 was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Trust Award for her work on Into the Light.