Justine A. Chambers and Seika Boye / I’m Always in This Body


Justine Chambers Untitled circa 1996 at Debbie Wilson’s Studio on Richmond St, West, Toronto



SB  We were poor and hardcore. Everything else we did was between dancing. And everything was (about) dancing.

In this moment J.N. talked about being like a cat. Dancing as being ready to go anywhere at any time in space with your body. I think about being in the world that way. I think about being careful in the dark. If you get up at night to pee or your kid is crying … those are dances.

Now I think about the dancing that’s recognizable and not recognizable.

Walking is definitely my dancing right now. Where there are recognizable things like music, physical intensity, getting hot, going faster, acceleration. It’s like creating a class out of a walk. It reaches a peak. And if you had told me 15 years ago I could find a peak while walking I would have been like fuck off. Now . . . now I can. I want to break into a run (except I can’t because of my body).

jac  Because of dancing you can’t run. I don’t even run for the fucking bus.

SB  The morning after I exert, after leaving the ground, my body is screaming. I get carried away in the dancing of it — the push and the push and the repetitive action and the momentum.

I remember the first time I saw him drop a board and get on it. I think I had known him for two weeks. He got on his board and I was like (intake of breath), “Oh, I like love you.” It is flow (beauty) and responsiveness.

jac  Always performance and practice at the same time.

SB  And resistance. Our repeated paths in the world. That is dancing.

jac  I am the choreographer of nothingness.
It’s about being together. For me it’s about being together in whatever way. All of it is about us trying to figure out how to organize being together.
We are in a heightened awareness in the world . . . and those become serious dances. And the dances that are handed down. Those spatial negotiations are … they’re real.

SB  The dancing itself is the closest thing to freedom. Which is why you start to find it in your everyday. I can find this everywhere … that’s a beautiful realization. Being present. That is such an exciting thing to be with. That’s what dancing gives us.

I hope that I am always dancing because dancing, as I’ve come to understand it, is just a state of awareness and self in relationship to other things . . . all things.


This is an excerpt from Issue 3.43 (Winter, 2021): “I’m looking for a way to dance.” To read the piece in its entirety purchase a print or digital copy here.

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