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Posted on June 23, 2016 in Artists-in-Residence
Julianne Chapple: the edges of things are ill defined

Photo Ed Spence

Dance Centre Artist-in-Residence Julianne Chapple writes about the development of her work the edges of things are ill defined, coming up as part of the Dancing on the Edge Festival July 10-11:

I set out to make a formal study. I like to set up strict perimeters for myself. No faces. No eyes. No emotion. No story. Can I create something that is engaging while stripping away the extraneous?

I imagined creatures in an abyss. Shapes that dissolve into themselves and each other. Forms that are ever shifting.

I've always been jealous of painters. I am incapable of the kind of commitment needed to make a permanent mark. Performance is fluid in such a comforting way. Every moment erases what came before. A mistake is over as it happens and you are on to the next, on to the next.

I set out to make a formal study as a time-based abstract painting. Can bodies be used the way pigment might be? Or if even colour is stripped away. There is just dark and light. Form and empty space. The viewer perceives shifts between these two extremes. Everything exists somewhere on these spectrums.

I imagine it as a Rorschach test. Like seeing figures in clouds. One may perceive a romantic relationship. One might see creatures or landscapes instead of human forms.

Photo Ed Spence

In creation for this piece, I had the pleasure of working with Berlin based dramaturge Gabi Beier. She asked me to keep a 'choreographic workbook' in the weeks leading up to our time in the studio so that she would have an idea of my process. This is an exercise I had never done before, at least not in any structured way that would be looked over by someone else. It is an interesting experience trying to communicate inspirations for a performance work, especially something intentionally oblique. Gabi encouraged my entries of cell phone photos and audio files of rambling conversations. This is perhaps an excellent way to describe an intangible desire; gathering up a collage of references which through similarities might express, 'this is the feeling I would like to create'. In the centre of this nebulous venn diagram I imagine a black expanse where the viewer as voyeur, looks into something mysterious and distant and slowly realizes that they are inhabiting the same world that they observe.

My workbook entries can be viewed here:


The Dancing on the Edge Festival in partnership with The Dance Centre presents Edge Off 2, a double bill featuring the edges of things are ill defined by Julianne Chapple and Wags Alternate by Thoenn Glover.

 July 10-11, 2016 at 8.30pm at Scotiabank Dance Centre.


Photos by Ed Spence


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