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CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR is a trilogy of performance works by A CANARY TORSI to be presented during a 2-week run at 3 NYC venues in fall 2017.

The Latest Update

The World Premieres of CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR

Posted on December 14, 2017 by a canary torsi | Yanira Castro

I have been working to create a compilation of videos and articles of CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR, to share, and finally, I have it complete. For those of you who were not able to be with us, below is a glimpse of the three weeks of two shows and an exhibition.

With the support of three organizations whose missions I deeply admire–The Chocolate Factory Theater, Abrons Arts Center and The Invisible Dog Art Center–we premiered a trilogy of works, CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR, for three weeks, September 7-23, 2017. It was humbling, terrifying and exhilarating to have the unique opportunity to present this trilogy together and to witness how deeply the works informed and challenged one another.

For myself, personally, to have had the honor of working intensely with such an amazing, generous group of artists, was astounding and life changing. Being surrounded by these people and the audience was a blessing every single night. Eva Yaa Asentawaa said it best in a reflection for her blog InfiniteBody:

“Their bodies contain so much and such diverse information, so much imprinting and history, from disparate sources. And–I began to realize–so much wisdom.”

Below are three short video teasers for CAST, STAGE, and AUTHOR created by Peter Richards.

CAST: https://vimeo.com/244684265

STAGE: https://vimeo.com/243349178

AUTHOR: https://vimeo.com/245819462

What started as a series of conversations between myself and 15 powerful NYC performers transformed to a complex dialogue on how agency is structured, how decision-making is distributed and how we all participate in the authorship of images and narratives. The trilogy evolved over the course of the past year to be a dynamic rendering of our questions about what a cast, a body of people, serve to represent.


“[STAGE] is enough to make us stop in our tracks and reconsider everything we have been led to believe about theater.” – Hilary Tanabe for Culturebot

Hilary Tanabe for Culturebot, “Entering the Fifth Dimension”

Eva Yaa Asantewaa in InfitineBody

Brian Rogers for Fusebox’s Written & Spoken

Interview with Ivan Talijancic for The Brooklyn Rail

Martha Sherman preview for Dancelog.nyc

Interviews with Martha Sherman for her blog


Director & Choreographer: Yanira Castro

Collaborators & Performers: Kyle Bukhari, Simon Courchel, Leslie Cuyjet, devynn emory, Iréne Hultman, Luke Miller, Sai Somboon, David Thomson, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Pamela Vail, Tara Aisha Willis, Darrin Wright

Contributing Artists: John Hoobyar, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Heather Olson

Installation/Lighting Designer: Kathy Couch

Costume Designer (Masks for STAGE): Miodrag Guberinic

Dramaturg: Susan Mar Landau​

Composer/Programmer/Interaction Designer: Stephan Moore

Musicians for STAGE: Scott Smallwood, Suzanne Thorpe

Video for AUTHOR: Peter Richards

Stage Managers: Lillie De (CAST), Reilly Horan (STAGE)

Tech Crew for STAGE: Kris Bergbom, Natalie Davery

Transcribers: Stormy Budwig, Emie Hughes

Marketing Assistant: Tara Sheena

Interns: Noor Qasim, Zachary Grand, Chloe Tausk

More Updates ▼


Posted on June 16, 2017 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.

Residency at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC)

Posted on August 2, 2016 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.

Project Media

Court/Garden (World Premiere at Danspace Project – 2014)
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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.

The People to Come (excerpt from Brown University’s Granoff Center for the Creative Arts – 2012)
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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.

Wilderness (excerpt from NY Premiere at The Invisible Dog Art Center – 2010)
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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.

Start and End Dates



New York, New York

3 updates
Last update on December 14, 2017

Project Created By

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

Chicago, Illinois


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