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Firehorse & Shadow

Firehorse and Shadow exists as a set of stories combining elements of contemporary dance, shadow puppetry, animation, film, and theatre. The stories belong to choreographer Andrea Nann whose great-grandmother Mew was ‘sold’ by her family in China and sent to Vancouver as a servant girl in early 1900.  Mew gave birth to Nann’s grandmother Lin in Vancouver’s Shanghai Alley in 1912.  Although Lin never left Vancouver she was forced to identify as a Chinese citizen when she married a Chinese man. Nann’s mother Bev was born during Canada’s Chinese Exclusion Act. She was taught to value assimilation during times of extreme anti-Chinese attitudes.


In this work intangible experiences are given form through Nann’s embodied familial histories process that has been developed in collaboration with core collaborators: director Sarah Chase; dramaturge/future teller/visual artist Cindy Mochizuki; and shadow artist/performer Annie Katsura Rollins. The work explores memory, sensation, perception, shadows, personal histories, relationships, cosmology, Chinese medicine, wellness, food, and fate.

Firehorse & Shadow consists of the following:

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