Posted by: a canary torsi | Yanira Castro
From May 1-20, I worked intensively with the performers of CAST at a DiP Residency at Gibney Dance Center.
We worked on further developing CAST, a performance that features a rotating cast of four performers from a group of 15. The cast is different for each performance, negotiating new scripts and constructing new scenarios each night. It is a concentrated study of what constitutes a cast in live performance. CAST will premiere September 13-23, 2017 at The Chocolate Factory Theater.
Please enjoy this peek into the development process of CAST, filmed and edited by Scott Show of Gibney Dance’s Digital Technology Initiative.
Posted by: a canary torsi | Yanira Castro
For the past month we have been in development at LMCC’s Studio at 125 Maiden Lane through their Extended Life program.
Choreographer Yanira Castro has been collaborating with 15 performing artists — Kyle Bukhari, Simon Courchel, Leslie Cuyjet, devynn emory, John Hoobyar, Iréne Hultman Monti, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Luke Miller, Heather Olson, Sai Somboon, David Thomson, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Pamela Vail, Tara Willis, Darrin Wright — and video artist Peter Richards to create individual videos on the phenomenology of performance and its intersections with the perceived bodies of the performers (race, gender, sexual orientation, age).
To see images of the process, please visit and click images:
CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR is a trilogy of performance works to premiere September 2017 at three commissioning NYC venues. We are thrilled to create our first project for Abrons Art Center (STAGE), and to continue longstanding relationships with The Invisible Dog (AUTHOR) and The Chocolate Factory (CAST).
CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR is an exploration of three elemental facets of performance and their political and cultural ramifications: the performer, spectacle and authorship. It is a collaboration between choreographer Yanira Castro and composer Stephan Moore—two Bessie-award-winning artists whose ten-year collaboration has resulted in ten projects that have toured nationally and internationally. It is by far our most ambitious collaboration; an evolution in our continued line of questioning about the construction of experience and how we culturally attend performances.
The project begins with a set of 15 audio and video recordings, engaging 15 NYC performers responding to conversations about the act of performing and casting, unearthing personal and political questions about aesthetics, inclusion and representation. These videos will be created within an environment at LMCC’s Studio at 125 Maiden Lane in July 2016. The resulting videos will form the base material (text, movement, and spatial arrangements) for each of the three works.
Stephan Moore’s music/sound score for each work begins with the recorded material—words and actions culled from the initial videos—which are harnessed by three different processes to realize a score for each piece. In all cases, the musical outcome of these scores will be recognizable as belonging to each of the works, yet completely different at each individual presentation of each work.
In CAST, the sound score is intimate and occurs at a human scale, resulting from the interlocking actions of four performers interpreting spontaneously generated scores of text and movement. These scores are derived from the videos, using an algorithmic process to be developed during an August 2016 residency at Abrons Art Center.
For STAGE, a group of five improvising musicians will use a variety of amplified sound sources (traditional instruments, objects, machinery, and software) to create an unfolding auditory spectacle according to a map of sonic possibilities built each night to align with what Castro describes as “a theatrical tech fantasia, a seamless orchestration of moving parts: the raising of curtains, the cueing of lights, the entrance of dancers, the construction of spectacle.”
The musicians are previous collaborators: Moore, Scott Smallwood, Suzanne Thorpe, Caroline Park and Michael Dauphinais.
The score for AUTHOR is infused through the space by a multi-channel sound system, resulting in sound that is immersive yet disembodied. The evolving sonic environment will be navigated via selections, requests, and disruptions made explicitly or implicitly by the work's co-authors: the audience.
Cues: 4:40, 46:30 and 1:14:12. COURT/GARDEN is inspired by the imperial ballets of Louis XIV’s French Court. A 3-act structure, each act incorporates a specific audience arrangement that speaks to a distinct form of public participation and political structure. The music, performed live by composer Stephan Moore, synthesizes musical ideas from 17th Century Court Dance, fashion runways, Charles Ives, dance clubs, noise, drone, glitch, and pop. Dancers: Simon Courchel, Tess Dworman, Luke Miller, Pamela Vail, Darrin Wright, Kimberly Young.
Please cue to 2:31. THE PEOPLE TO COME was a Bessie-nominated, process-based project. Five dancers were tasked to create a solo from materials submitted by the audience (on-site and at thepeopletocome.org). This clip is from Simon Courchel's final dance. The music was created by four live musicians plus audience-chosen pre-recorded scores. All recorded and live musicians followed a strict communal time-structure, creating a score to accompany each 19-minute dance. Musicians: Peter Bussigel, Stephan Moore, Caroline Park, Tim Rovinelli.
Please cue to 1:13. WILDERNESS is a site-adaptable dance installation that takes place in an elliptical field of black rubber mulch. The score for the pianist and other electronic sounds are generated by the movement of the performers and audience within the performance space (through sensors underneath the mulch floor). The pianist sight-reads the score and interprets it based on a set of agreements and communications with the composer. Dancers: Luke Miller, Pamela Vail, Darrin Wright, Kimberly Young. Pianist: Michael Dauphinais.
09/07/2017 - 09/24/2017
New York, New York
Last Updated June 16, 2017
Brooklyn, New York
Puerto-Rican born and Brooklyn-based director/choreographer Yanira Castro is a Bessie-award-winning artist who collaborates with a core group of performers and designers on individual projects under the name, a canary torsi. Since 2009, they have created site-adaptable performance projects in a multiplicity of spaces–from warehouses, restrooms, and gardens to the stage. Their work is anchored in...
IN COLLABORATION WITH