Julie Burelle

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Is there a Doctor in the house?

I have recently finished my PhD in Theatre and Dance at the University of California San Diego.

There are countless wonderful people who have made this journey possible and I will take a moment to name them here. It is a long list so if you just want to see the photos (courtesy of David Baillot), stop here!

I would like to thank the scholars, artists, mentors, and friends I have met on this journey that started in Montreal and led me to San Diego via Vancouver, Boston, and Toronto. I owe to Christine Heitzmann and to our students in Boston my rekindled love for theatre’s power to speak. In Toronto, Antje Budde ignited my interest in theory, and inspired me to become a scholar.

I have had the utmost privilege of working with outstanding committee members in San Diego, Irvine, and Montreal. Emily Roxworthy has been an inspiring mentor, and her generosity and intellectual rigor have been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition and in shaping who I am as an academic. Thank you to Patrick Anderson, Ross Frank, Ketu Katrak, and Frank Wilderson for taking me under their respective wings and for teaching life-altering seminars. Finally, thank you to Simon Harel who kindly came on board my dissertation committee despite the distance.

I want to thank the wonderful professors and staff at UCSD for their outstanding and caring professionalism. My colleagues in the department have played a large part in bringing this project to life, and I thank in particular Matt Chapman, Jason Dorwart, Janet Hayatshahi, Sonia Fernandez, Raimondo Genna, Lily Kelting, Melissa Minnifee, Sam Mitchell, Naysan Mojgani, Jade Power Sotomayor, and Heather Ramey.

Erin Hurley, Yumi Pak, Pierrot Ross-Tremblay, and Selamawit Terrefe have all helped me find my way out of what seemed like insurmountable writing impasses: I have learned so much from their guidance and generosity. Thank you also to Mélanie Carrier, Olivier Higgins, José Mailhot, Alexi Marchel, Ghislain Picard, and to Eddy Malenfant, Philippe McKenzie, Anne-Marie St-Onge André, Évelyne St-Onge, and Fernande St-Onge for the hospitality and conversations in Mani-Utenam.

Thank you to my family in Montréal for their love and encouragement: my father André, my two brothers Yan and Mathieu and their respective families, my sister Pascale Boyer and her family, and my aunt Marie-Thérèse, and the entire Proulx clan. Thank you also to Lorraine Barner and the Barner family, to Ivano Caponigro, Daniel Kane, Nancy Baird, and David Baillot.

I am truly blessed to have David Barner in my life and I am grateful for the supportive and loving space we give each other to pursue our dreams. The incessant questions and avid curiosity of our daughter Anouk who was born as I began this PhD, have been a source of inspiration for me these last 5 years, and I owe her the courage to question even what is uncomfortable.

My mother Nicole Proulx passed away as I was starting my PhD. She was a luminous soul, a wonderful parent and friend, and a profoundly just being. She is present in my work.

Dee(a)r Spine

There is nothing I love more than accompanying an artist on a journey of exploration and discovery. Sam Mitchell is a current MFA student in the Dance-Theatre program at UCSD and working with him on his piece Dee(a)r Spine has been an immense pleasure. The piece, which he developed with musician Tommy Babin was presented last week as part of WinterWorks’ 14 along with the beautiful work of his colleague Lisa J. Frank. Dee(a)r Spine is Sam’s very personal exploration and re-interpretation of the Yaqui Deer Dance. Being a Yaqui who did not grow up close to the Yaqui culture, Sam has felt a great need to explore and connect with the culture of his parents and this particular piece is a moved and moving meditation on genealogy, connection to the land, repatriation, and all that exists under our feet as we walk this earth.

Photos by Jim Carmody.

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New Theatre touring in San Diego Schools

Last fall, I had the great pleasure of collaborating with fantastic playwright Kristin Idaszak , Professor Judy Bauerlein at CalState San Marcos and her students in the Theatre Department. Idaszak penned two fantastic new plays –Captain Becca the Feared Buccaneer and Rosy-Fingered Dawn and the Winged-Sandals- two ludic and thought-provoking adaptations of Greek myths for young audiences. The two plays were performed by Judy’s students and toured San Diego schools where they were met by enthusiastic audiences. I created a pedagogical guide and a series of exercises for school teachers.


I recently acted as a dramaturgical consultant for Québékoisie, a documentary film by Mélanie Carrier and Olivier Higgins of MÖfilms on the relationship between Québécois and the 11 First Nations of what is now known as the province of Québec.

The film has just been released and is garnering excellent reviews. It was awarded the Magnus Isaacson Award at Les Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal.

Québékoisie- trailer

Poster design: Simon Beaudry

Stage Combat: Titus Andronicus

I choreographed the stage combat sequences for what is perhaps Shakespeare’s bloodiest play.

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The Rest is Silence

An experimental and experiential dance theatre performance inspired by the death scenes of Shakespearian heroines and directed by Janet Hayatshahi. Performers: Emily Aust, Jane Blount, Julie Burelle, Christine Herde, Lily Kelting, Regan Linton, Larissa Lury, and Heather Ramey. Presented in February 2012 at the Mandell Weiss Theatre in La Jolla California.

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Class Ick! de Cons Truck Ted

A re-examination, re-configuration, re-interpretation, de/re-hydration, illumination, exhumation, and contamination of what we think we might know about the story of Agamemnon.

System Sweeping Tangent

A three-hour installation performance; a container for questions, nothingness, lineage, and choreography through bodies in relationship to time.

Fish Without Bicycle

A devised piece putting in conversation the history of psychoanalysis, the spectacularization of hysteria, and the myth of Iphigenia. Continue reading

Le fil d’Ariane – Ariane’s Thread

A play on a little girl’s quest to unravel her grandmother’s failing memory. Continue reading

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