• 2017
  • 6m50s
  • 4K Video + Projection Mapping

In Orange Magpies, dancers in bright orange utilitarian jumpsuits move through the landscape of Vancouver. Fast, sharp editing, match-on-action techniques, and a driving beat create a structural danced film. Projecting the images and familiar locations overtop the neoclassical architecture of the Vancouver Art Gallery is juxtaposed with the acknowledgement that these dances were shot on sites that are unceded and the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.


In collaboration with choreographers/performers
James Gnam and Vanessa Goodman

Music Composition by
Scott Morgan aka loscil

Assisted by Sunshine Frere

Mural by Joseph Tisiga
used with permission + respect

Commissioned by Burrard Arts Foundation + Vancouver Art Gallery

On the surface is a bright and kinetic dancefilm, using my background as a dancer to shoot the performers, and sense of motion to re-choreograph the film through editing. Yet there are layers under the surface. The title Orange Magpies refers to the association with thievery that magpies hold in European folklore, such as The Thieving Magpie by Rossini (also used in A Clockwork Orange by Kubrick) or Heckle and Jeckle from The Talking Magpies animations of the 1950s. The nest of a magpie is sometimes described as a ‘bed of thievery.’ The film’s soundtrack is a remix of the original Radiohead song Morning Mr. Magpie by Modeselektor with lyrics that reference this history. The dancer’s physical gestures such as holding their hands out before wrapping them away also lend metaphoric meaning. I wanted the dancers to stand out from the landscape, in their bright, everyman orange jumpsuits, to be outsiders, but they have also been read as prison suits, referencing the Vancouver Art Gallery’s history as a courthouse and prison. I also was interested in juxtaposing the neoclassical architecture of the Vancouver Art Gallery and its colonialist associations, with the contested landscapes shown in the film. The city as site, with the dancers dressed in orange questioning the institutional superiority of the architectural building, and layered overtop of its Vitruvian principles. It holds a compelling double meaning for me. Finally, I’m interested in breaking the frame, in moving beyond the traditional two-dimensional space of film, in questioning the status quo. The visual transgressions of dance media, that on the surface seem so simple and pleasing, are an entry point for feminists and activists to have their say, an allowance for a complexity of politics, enabled by the moving body through time and space.

Exhibitions + Screenings

Public Moving Triptych Billboard
Vancouver, Canada
April 2018

Vancouver Art Gallery
Commissioned film for
projection mapping festival
Vancouver, Canada
September 2017


The Evolving Story of Dance on Film: An Overview of new forms then and now
Feature in Dance International Magazine
by Kathleen Smith
May 2018

CBC News
Featured in Façade Fest article
by CBC Authors
September 5, 2017

Façade Festival Breaks Barriers
by Shannon Griffiths
September 7, 2017

Daily Hive
by DH Vancouver
August 2017

On the Coast
Host: Gloria Macarenko
Radio Interview
September 3, 2017

Facade Festival Artist Interview
Burrard Arts Foundation
by Genevieve Michaels
August 4, 2017