Semi-Precious + Minor Gesture

Justine A. Chambers

Justine A. Chambers asks performers and audience: How can we revel in the beauty and the specificity of the quotidian, if viewed through movement? Can we feel another’s humanity if we embody their gesture? Semi-Precious is a site-specific performance that uses the recording of gesture as an empathic act, while pairing it with the human need for unexpected beauty and magic in the city landscape.
Minor Gesture (working title), Chambers works in collaboration with Berlin based Laurie Young with one major iconic gesture and a multitude of personal minor gestures, to unfold the many layers of the body as a site for political resistance while questioning the role of performance itself– relating the gestures to their physicality as dancers and women of colour, choreography becomes a tool for identifying the ways that social, political and physical power work upon bodies and in turn, how individual power is activated through movement.


Justine A. Chambers’ interests lie in collaborative creation and re-imagining dance performance. Drawn to the movement of all bodies, and focusing on the dances that are already there – the social choreographies present in the everyday – she has been creating performance projects throughout Canada since 2000. Chambers is a founding member of projet bk, associate artist to The Dance Centre, and was an artist in residence at artist run centre 221a. Chambers was awarded Dance Victoria’s Chrystal Dance Prize in 2016 to create a new work in collaboration with her friend and colleague Laurie Young. In May of 2017, Chambers was one of three choreographers chosen to participate in the Yulanda Faris Choreographer’s Program. Recent works include: The Choreography Walk, Family Dinner, and Back It Up. Her projects have been presented nationally, including Vancouver Art Gallery, Agora de la Danse, Canada Dance Festival, New Dance Horizons.

Justine A. Chambers

Performers: Ileanna Cheladyn, Alison Denham, Kate Franklin, Lisa Gelley, Elissa Hanson, Aryo Khakpour, Billy Marchenski, Josh Martin, Erika Mitsuhashi, Rianne Svelnis, Laurie Young.
Designers: James Proudfoot, Natalie Purschwitz

Minor Gesture: Laurie Young, Justine A. Chambers
Designers: James Proudfoot, Natalie Purschwitz

Minor Gesture provides the ideal opportunity to host conversations around oppression politics with all ages, in every community. Presenters can invite POC, LGBTQ+, and Mixed Abilities communities and organizations to engage in a group discussion about representation/inclusion in the arts, and in dance.

As a durational and public art installation, semi-precious provides the opportunity for a panel discussion with cultural workers around public art, and the potential of dance to be considered as public art work. Additionally, the piece is a good fit for workshops to share the practice and process employed to achieve the work. Ages 14+ (amateur and professional dancers/actors)

  • Title of Work: Semi-Precious + Minor Gesture
  • Premiere Date and Venue/Location: Minor Gesture – December 2018 – Sophiensaele, Berlin; Semi-precious – January/February 2019
  • This project is a: Mixed Bill, or 2 separate Pieces (General Audience, Mainstage, Site Specific / Outdoors, Semi-Precious is installation, durational and public art; Minor Gesture engages issues of representation and inclusion)
  • Length in Minutes (including intermission): Semi-precious – 3 hours; Minor Gesture – approximately 60 minutes
  • Is there an intermission: See above
  • Number of Performers on Tour: 7
  • Number of Support Staff on Tour: 2
  • Per-Performance Fee Range: $2500-5000
  • Available to Tour (Season): 2018/19 Season, 2019/20 Season

Other Performance Information

  • Further information available at website linked above. Both pieces are in current/active development and tech riders/specs will be provided as the information becomes available.
Titre de l’œuvre

Date et lieu de la première

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Informations complémentaires

Semi-precious – theatrical lights / the work is placed in public, in a city sky walk
Minor Gesture – basic theatre grid / a solid wall (most upstage wall of theatre)

Contact Information/Coordonnées

Company Name / Nom de la compagnie
Justine A. Chambers
Address / Adresse
c/o New Works, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver BC, V5T 3G8, Canada
Contact Person / Personne-ressource
Joanna Garfinkel
Phone / Téléphone
Email / Courriel

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