Community News & Events

Firehorse and Shadow: An Interactive Web Performance

With Firehorse and Shadow contemporary dance artist Andrea Nann traces her matrilineal heritage in a new experiential interactive web performance that illuminates a collection of bold and inspiring experiences lived and felt by four generations of Chinese Canadian women growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Against the backdrop of gender inequality and anti-Chinese racism, Firehorse and Shadow combines elements of contemporary dance, shadow puppetry, interactive web design, animation, documentary film, photography, and story-telling to explore female lineage with a focus on the dualistic yin and yang elements expressed within the bodies, lives and choices of four generations of women. Working against and alongside the hearsay of family stories and Chinese medicine cycles and charts of astrological animal signs, two performers, Nann and shadow artist Annie Katsura Rollins, weave together passages of remembering and forgetting, inviting audience members into an intimate and brave reanimation of familial memory.  The Firehorse and Shadow web performance offers computer users a personalized journey using web technology to enhance their experience within this unique online event. 

What Audiences Are Saying

“I’m a 56 year old Chinese Canadian woman. I have never felt so seen. Your performance was truly beautiful.” -Y.L.

“It was such a pleasure from an audience perspective to engage interactively with the cosmos experience. Of all the adaptations I’ve seen from live performance to online presentation, this has been one of the most successful.” – J.M.

“Firehorse & Shadow is a spectacular example of how an emotional and intimate story can be successfully told inside the confines of the digital space while maintaining the tenderness of an in-person performance” – J.R.

“It’s the best interactive I have seen, ever!” -J.B.

 “A pallet of expression, beauty and reflection of what was…and where we are now.” -K.C.


Hello.  Last night I watched Fire Horse and Shadow again. I had a date to watch it with my friend, we arranged to watch it at the same time, texted back and forth during the performance and afterwards had a phone chat about our experiences. It was a really fun way to watch the show! We are still not finished our discussion and agreed to continue in a couple of days. However, we agreed that it was a beautiful production leaving us with many thought provoking ideas. We loved that we both had different journeys.” – K.L.

“I just wanted to send a note to tell you how profoundly moved I was by my experience of your creation Firehorse and Shadow.  I felt so engaged and a part of the experience which amazed me as I usually experience dance/performance art synchronously and live.  The way you and your team wove together the movement, shadows, videos, painting, spoken word, opportunities to explore the elements, yin/yang, animal signs – all of it was so thoroughly captivating and educational.” – H.A.