The Brutal Joy

Justine A. Chambers MFA thesis project
April 18 & 19, 2024 | Doors at 7:45 PM, performance at 8:00 PM
Leaky Heaven Theatre studio at the Russian Hall – 600 Campbell Ave., Vancouver

Enter through the back of the building (east side of the building) up the staircase. Please note the space is not wheelchair accessible.  

The Brutal Joy unfurls Black Vernacular line dance and Black sartorial gesture as physical cogitation, reverie and devotion to Black-living.

“Beauty is not a luxury, rather it is a way of creating possibility in the space of enclosure, a radical act of subsistence, an embrace of our terribleness, a transfiguration of the given. It is a will to adorn, a proclivity for the baroque, and the love of too much.” 

– Saidiya Hartman

The Brutal Joy is created in collaboration with Mauricio Pauly, James Proudfoot, and Vanessa Kwan.   

To reserve tickets please email

Note: the April 19th show is currently full.


Choreography and performance: Justine A. Chambers
Sound design and performance: Mauricio Pauly
Lighting design and performance: James Proudfoot
Dramaturge: Vanessa Kwan
Clothing by Old Fashioned Standards
Lighting assistant: Alexandra Caprara
Hair: Liam Murley


April 19, 2024