// Shadow Machine

Length 60 Minutes

Shadow Machine is a multi-media performance created in celebration Co.ERASGA’s 10th anniversary. Featuring choreographic ensemble work by Alvin Erasga Tolentino in collaboration with acclaimed Vancouver media artists Carol Sawyer, Peter Courtemanche, and Winnipeg’s Ken Gregory. Shadow Machine pays homage to the history, people and labour of the City of Vancouver in its 125th year.

Shadow Machine is an interdisciplinary and collaborative work incorporating contemporary dance, video, audio, photography and interactive technologies. The shifting histories of Vancouver’s industrial development in the early 20th century inspired this creation and Co.ERASGA juxtaposes those ideas onto the post-industrial modern age. Shadow Machine seeks to engage audiences with a unique interpretation of Vancouver’s diverse and often hidden history.

Vancouver, in its short history, has undergone rapid growth and huge economic shifts. Shadow Machine examines and criticizes the Utopian view of technological progress, yet simultaneously sees the potential for some dreams to come true.

At the heart of Shadow Machine are the workers, machinery, and people who have built Vancouver’s past and present. Focused on the labour that Vancouverites do, and the ways in which labour and technology shape our movements, bodies, and cultural identities, Shadow Machine imagines a unique hybrid between new media and dance. Shadow Machine partners movement with archival and thematic materials of the late industrial age, and the use of contemporary forms and technologies.

The artists engage shadows, projections, minimal lighting sources, new technologies and interactive audio-video systems. Together creating a series of eccentric “machines” through which both the performers and the audience can experience how technology transforms our landscapes and our bodies.


CHOREOGRAPHY: Alvin Erasga Tolentino
MEDIA ARTISTS: Carol Sawyer, Ken Gregory, Peter Courtemanche
DANCERS: Billy Marchenski, Molly McDermott, Jane Osborne, Bevin Poole, Alvin Erasga Tolentino


Photo credits: Machine Chris Randle & Tarig Adam

Co.ERASGA is Registered as Company Erasga Dance Society. Charitable registration number: 894061514 RR0001

As an arts organization with roots of Filipino heritages, migrant stories and racialized settlers, we acknowledge our privilege to be living and creating art here on Turtle Island. We acknowledge the land upon which most of Co. ERASGA's work takes place: the traditional and unceded lands of the Coast Salish people including the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations, the original stewards and caretakers of these lands.
As artists, we humbly recognize the continued work that needs to be done on the road to reconciliation. We commit to our own education, sharing of resources and artistries for continued respect, solidarity, awareness towards decolonial relation and work with the Indigenous people of Canada.

© Co.ERASGA 2021