Marnie Orr is a Perth independent dance artist, researcher and performance creator specialising in improvisation and site-based dance. She holds a Research Masters in Site Based Dance and Experience Design out of Middlesex University, London. Described by WA’s Department Culture and Arts as “innovative and critical” and a “leader in her field” (2010), Orr was a founding member in Tess de Quincey’s dance company (1999-2001) and is an endorsed Bodyweather practitioner (bodyweather.net).
Orr has performed internationally for the likes of Stuart Lynch, Artistic Director of Danish State Theatre School, including in 24Hr Performance, presented at Artspace Sydney and in Oslo Norway. As well as forming part of international performance group In Vivo based in London whose work was made using four languages, Marnie has collaborated with local legend Maitland Schnaars (Yirra Yaakin), as well as had ongoing performance conversations with Jo Pollitt, Hellen Russo, Jacqui Otago and Mike Makossa. She has been commissioned for small solo works including Ausdance’s SeeMe (2018) presented at State Theatre Centre Courtyard WA.
Orr has designed and choreographed for WA performances within unexpected locations and moved audiences through progressive spaces within multimedia dance pieces including: Wearable Art Bridge Walk with WA Opera and 45 WA dancers and models for City of Mandurah (Nov 2019); Square of Earth site-specific dance duo piece for City of Perth 2013, of whose photographs won Loupe International Photographic Awards; Bridgetown’s Stream Dreaming Arts Festival 2010 involving 3 performances resulting out of three multidisciplinary performance and media research laboratories over 3 years; Media Jam a pilot project for Adobe Connect 2009; and in 1999 with Leah Grycewicz she gained recognition for her city-wide performance project Stratus: Peel Back The Unconscious, commissioned by Queensland Arts, Kick Arts Cairns and Cairns City Council.
Marnie is a dance lecturer in improvisation at WAAPA since 2011 and her dance training methods are currently implemented there and in the undergraduate course at Liverpool Hope University UK. She has trained Perth indigenous dance company Ochre Dance for Jacob Lehrer, and theatre troupes featuring Ian Sinclair and Moya Thomas.
Marnie formed Orr & Sweeney (orrandsweeney.com), a dance research performance duo in collaboration with dancer/researcher Dr Rachel Sweeney from 2006 to 2013 (formally Rockface). Orr & Sweeney was supported in touring their performances to UK venues from Plymouth to London and Liverpool by the likes of Dance in Devon UK, whilst Rachel won a Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund to work with Marnie in WA. Together in Australia they have been commissioned by CSIRO DANscienCE Festival, and presented dance photographic works for CRAFT ACT.
Orr & Sweeney have also presented their performance/lectures throughout Australia and UK for dance and science organisations and university research departments such as PLaCE International Research Centre of University of West England, Centre for Sustainable Futures UK, as well as Monash, Sydney and Australian National Universities in Australia , and in the UK at Plymouth, Liverpool-Hope Universities, as well as independent international conferences Balance Unbalance and National World Water Day Symposium.