A Conversation About Urban Choreography — with Justine A. Chambers, Alana Gerecke & Annabel Vaughan

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Date created: 
Am Johal
Below the Radar
SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement
Community Engagement
Justine A. Chambers
Alana Gerecke
Annabel Vaughan
Urban Studies

This episode of Below the Radar is a special live event recording from “A Conversation About Urban Choreography,” presented in-person at SFU’s Vancouver campus on November 9, 2021.

Taking gesture as a point of entry, Justine A. Chambers and Alana Gerecke extend their collaborative exploration of the everyday choreographies that are built into an urban experience. Combining artistic and academic research, they index the various bodily orientations cultivated by the built and social structures that shape everyday spaces. By tracking an archive of everyday gestures that are prompted by various components of built and social space, they insist on the lasting and vital information contained within those specific organizations of moving bodies. They emphasize the significance of embodied knowledge—even, or especially, as it lives in invisibilized daily gestures. 

In this discussion, Chambers and Gerecke are joined by architect Annabel Vaughan. Together, the panelists explore the accumulation of living archival gestures generated by the interactions between moving bodies and built space, an evolving assembly of lost gestures. This public conversation was presented with the aim of sharing evolving research by inviting those present to engage in a consideration of the embodied details of urban circulation.



Justine A. Chambers

Justine A. Chambers is a dance artist living and working on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Her movement based practice considers how choreography can be an empathic practice rooted in collaborative creation, close observation, and the body as a site of a cumulative embodied archive. Privileging what is felt over what is seen, she works with dances that are already there – the social choreographies present in the everyday. She is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother.


Alana Gerecke

Based in Vancouver, on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəjˀəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil Waututh) First Nations, Alana Gerecke is a settler scholar, mother, and dance artist of mixed European descent.

She researches choreography in public space, asking questions about how bodies are cast into relation with natural and built environments, and with other bodies. Her current book project, Moving Publics, examines the social and spatial politics of site-based dance in Vancouver. A former Trudeau Scholar and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Alana is currently a Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow in the Humanities (Urban Studies, SFU) and Artist-in-Residence at Vancouver’s Dance Centre (2021-22).

Annabel Vaughan

Annabel Vaughan is an architect and project manager at ERA Architects, she recently returned to Vancouver to manage projects in BC.

She received her Master of Architecture from The School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia, where her master’s thesis examined the use of heritage buildings as mnemonic devices for the collective memory of cities and their public lives. 

Annabel joined ERA Architects in 2015 after two decades in Vancouver, including 10 years at Birmingham & Wood where she was involved in all aspects of design and construction, including the award-winning Mountain View Cemetery. A project that revitalized an important cultural heritage landscape in the middle of the city. Her professional work includes heritage conservation, small-scale landscape architecture insertions, civic and residential building design, urban design and research, performance art lectures, and curatorial projects.

She writes, teaches and participates regularly in discussions concerning the role that architecture and public art can play as agents of political change in the city.


Alana Gerecke’s website: https://agerecke.wixsite.com/alanagerecke
Justine A. Chambers’s website: https://justineachambers.com/

About Annabel Vaughan: https://www.eraarch.ca/person/annabel-vaughan/

Everyday Choreographies (2016) event recording: https://soundcloud.com/sfu_voce/everyday-choreographies-alana-gerecke-and-justine-chambers?in=sfu_voce/sets/public-event-recordings

Document type: 
You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions: You must give attribution to the work (but not in any way that suggests that the author endorses you or your use of the work); You may not use this work for commercial purposes; You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. Any further uses require the permission of the rights holder (or author if no rights holder is listed). These rights are based on the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License.
Chambers, Justine A. and Gerecke, Alana. “A Conversation About Urban Choreography — with Alana Gerecke, Justine A. Chambers & Annabel Vaughan” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, April 19, 2022. https://www.sfu.ca/vancity-office-community-engagement/below-the-radar-podcast/episodes/169-urban-choreography.html.