Justine A. Chambers' MFA Defence: The Brutal Joy

Friday, April 26, 2024 | 12:00 PM
Room 4390 – SFU School for the Contemporary Arts
149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

The Brutal Joy unfurls Black vernacular line dance and sartorial gesture as intellectual discourse, reverie, and devotion to Black-living. As a scored improvisation for dance, light, and sound, The Brutal Joy explores these diasporic practices as knowledge reservoirs and outward facing, physically dialogic activations that allow for actualizing oneself at present in a dance of future possibilities. The performers' attention oscillates between compositional structures of the riff, the vamp, and the break, while attending to the mutually dependent processes of individuation and ritualization. Gesture, gait, gaze, rhythm, textural sound, shadow, and light are the materials for proposing “What if?” and “Now what?” as provisional questions towards imagining otherwise. Centering dance and attire as relational and living counter-archives, the work considers movement and personal style as tools for self-determination and the collective reclamation of Black humanitarian value.

Keywords: Black Studies; Black Vernacular Line Dance; Black Dandyism; Black Sartorial Gesture; Archives; Contemporary Dance Choreography

April 26, 2024