a canary torsi creates site-adaptable, installation-based performance projects. Formed in 2009 by New York choreographer Yanira Castro, a canary torsi invites audiences to participate in work that is anchored in live performance and extends into other media and online platforms. Ranging from formal movement and immersive audio installations to fictional Twitter feeds and interactive websites, a canary torsi explores the relationship between audience and event, developing scenarios where the audience’s presence dramatically impacts the work.

Puerto-Rican born and Brooklyn-based director/choreographer Yanira Castro collaborates with a core group of performers and designers on individual projects under the name, a canary torsi. She and her collaborators work in a multiplicity of spaces: from warehouses, restrooms, and gardens to the stage, examining questions of intimacy, distance, control, and ultimately the agency of the audience in the performative environment. Her work has been presented in New York by New York Live Arts/Dance Theater Workshop, Performance Space 122, ISSUE Project Room, The Invisible Dog Art Center, The Chocolate Factory, The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), and HERE Arts Center, among others, and has toured nationally and internationally. Castro and the team of Dark Horse/Black Forest won a 2009 NY Dance & Performance (aka Bessie) Award for the performance of that project at The Gershwin Hotel. She has received several commissions and awards for her work, including from The New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project and Expeditions programs, The MAP Fund, The Jerome Foundation, NYFA’s BUILD, Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program, NYSCA, New Music USA’s Live Music for Dance, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and USArtists International. She is a 2013/14 Returning Choreographic Fellow and 2012 Media Fellow at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, a 2013/14 Artist-in-Residence at Dance New Amsterdam, 2012 Vermont Performance Lab Artist, a 2012 and 2010 LMCC Swing Space Artist-in-Residence, a 2007 Artist Ne(s)t Artist-in-Residence in Bacau, Romania, and a 2006 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow. Castro received her B.A. in Theater & Dance and Literature from Amherst College.

Peter Bussigel is an improviser and video artist interested in intermedia performance. He works with found objects and brass instruments augmented through digital and analog electronics. Peter collaborates with dancers, writers, visual artists and other musicians and has performed throughout North America and Japan including the International Computer Music Conference, the annual Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States conference, the Tank, and the Pixilerations Festival. He has received grants for performances and workshops on improvisation from Bates College and the Kobushiko Commissioning Group in Japan, and currently leads the intermedia ensemble at Brown University.

For 17 years, Kathy Couch has been designing and creating visual landscapes in performance and installation works. Primarily working in the mediums of light and space, Couch has designed over 300 performances in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Australia, Armenia, Russia, Latvia, Serbia and throughout New England. Creating installations and designs for a variety of traditional and non-traditional spaces, Couch’s artistic practice focuses on the vital role of the audience/viewer as active contributors to the work. Kathy Couch has ongoing performance collaborations with Adele Myers, Candice Salyers, The Architects and Chimaera Physical Theater. As a member of the creative team for Yanira Castro’s Dark Horse/Black Forest, Couch received a 2009 Bessie Award. Most recently, she collaborated with choreographer and video artist Wendy Woodson in the creation of Belonging: Reflections on Place, a video installation for the Immigration Museum of Melbourne (Australia). Kathy Couch currently teaches Lighting Design at Amherst College and recently received an MFA in Visual Arts from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a founding board member of the Northampton Community Arts Trust that seeks innovative ways to preserve arts space in Northampton, MA and a member of the arts organization C3, a creative community collective.

Simon Courchel is native of Paris and he studied dance at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. During his time and growth, Simon worked with William Forsythe, Carolee Schneeman, Michel Kelemenis, Lucinda Childs, Ashley Page, Karole Armitage, Yuval Pick, Terro Saarinen, Francois Raffinot, Jean Claude Gallota, Russel Malliphant, Frederic Flamand and Bud Blumenthal among others. Simon is based in Brooklyn since July 2010.

Sam Lerner works best when he’s surrounded by visuals, graphics and music and his best work involves putting technology right in the middle of it. A creative engineer and Flash expert at CivicActions, he thrives on clients seeking community-oriented solutions. While at Calabash Music, the first fair-trade online music company, he created a built-in media player that helped put more money in musicians’ pockets. His first project for CivicActions was dubbed “The Great Turtle Race.” An initiative for Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP), the website chronicled the migration of tagged leatherback turtles from Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands. Corporations and celebrities such as Stephen Colbert quickly jumped in to sponsor a turtle and the “race” was showcased via Sam’s time-lapse Flash animation map, updated daily. The project raised huge awareness for the turtles and drove significant traffic back to the organizer’s web site, also developed by CivicActions. Working with Amnesty International on their state-of-the-art web site, Sam’s team was tasked with finding a lightweight solution for searching the organization’s exhaustive document database. By incorporating Google Mini, the site and its attendant document library can now be searched seamlessly.

Luke Miller, originally from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, studied dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has performed with Yanira Castro / a canary torsi in 2:1, Center of Sleep, Wilderness, and received a Bessie award in ’09 for his collaboration and performance in Dark Horse/Black Forest. He is looking forward to performing in the upcoming work entitled The People To Come. He is also currently a member of Susan Marshall & Co. and has danced in the work of Martha Clarke, David Dorfman, Molissa Fenley, Keely Garfield, Neil Greenberg, Fiona Marcotty, Julie Atlas Muz, Neta Pulvermacher, stephen petronio, Sally Silvers, Christopher Williams, and Bill Young / Colleen Thomas. Luke enjoys freelancing in other artists’ work when they invite him into the studio. As well as making his own work, he curates events that involve live performance and visual art at Location One gallery in SOHO. He is currently creating a series called HOMO-spoof-EROTIC. It involves lycra. In addition to performing, he also teaches dance, yoga and improvisation. Luke dabbles in interior design and costume/set design. For more information please visit

Stephan Moore is a composer, performer, audio artist, sound designer and curator based in Brooklyn and Pawtucket, RI. His creative work currently manifests as electronic studio compositions, improvised solo performances, sound installation works, scores and sound designs for collaborative performance pieces, and sound designs for unusual circumstances. Evidence, his long-standing project with Scott Smallwood, has performed widely and released several recordings over the past decade. He has created custom music software for a number of composers and artists, and has taught workshops and numerous college-level courses in composition, programming, sound art and electronic music. He is the president of Isobel Audio, a maker of custom loudspeakers, as well as the curator of the Floating Points programming at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, where he also serves on the Art Advisory Board. From late 2004 to mid-2010, he performed over 250 concerts with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, serving as their sound engineer and music coordinator, and as a touring musician. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the MEME program at Brown University.  He has been collaborating with Yanira Castro since 2005.

Peter Musante is a San Francisco-raised theater artist and educator currently based in Brooklyn. A frequent performer with Blue Man Group, Peter has enjoyed collaborating on original interdisciplinary works with such artists as Martha Clarke & Alfred Uhry (Angel Reapers – The Joyce), Jody Oberfelder, Sabrina Jacob, Sinking Ship Productions, Double Image Theater Lab, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and with Summer Shapiro in their award-winning Legs and All.  His original work of physical theater has been presented at St. Mark’s Church / Incubator Arts Project, The Kraine, The Brick, The Tank, Galapagos Art Space and most recently at The Chocolate Factory’s THROW series. Peter is also working toward an MFA in Performance & Interactive Media Arts at Brooklyn College.

CAROLINE PARK  MUSICIAN  (June 25, 27, 29)
Caroline Park is a composer/performer who improvises on laptop, piano, and other noise-making devices, either solo or within a group. Caroline has been involved with ((audience)), Boston Center for the Arts, Non-Event, Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Saint Louis Symphony, Callithumpian Consort, Together: New England Electronic Music Festival, Musicacoustica Beijing, SICPP (Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice), Boston Microtonal Society, and Boston CyberArts.

Tim Rovinelli is performer and instrument builder based out of Providence, RI.  His work focuses on the creation of unstable generative electronic systems, hacked devices, and crude digital processing.  He is especially interested in environmentally sensitive and unusual interfaces.  He performs improvised music with the BUMPR ensemble with Stephan Moore, Peter Bussigel, and Caroline Park, electro-rock with House Party, and solo noise under the Splatterpuss moniker.  He is a graduate of Brown University affiliated with the MEME program and RISD’s digital media program.

Peter B. Schmitz has been involved in the creative and performing arts for over 25 years as a dancer, choreographer, actor. As a professional dancer/choreographer, Peter has worked through out the United States, Amsterdam, Germany, France, England, New Zealand and recently in Ankara, Turkey. He was a founding member of Dance Gallery, a small modern dance company, a member of Creach/Co in New York City for over 8 years, and has performed in the works of Wendy Woodson, Ann Carlson, Richard Colton/Amy Spencer. Peter currently lives in Bronx, NY. He has choreographed for New World Theatre, Medicine Show Theater and Potomac Theater Project and is a member of Actors Equity.

Kirsten Schnittker is a choreographer and performer who creates dances that question the act of performing, expose the individual within the performer, and push the limits of audience passivity.  Since graduating from Barnard College, Kirsten has shown her work throughout New York City with RoofTop Dance, Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s 2012 UPSTART Festival, REHEARSAL, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research’s Open Performance and Green Space.  Kirsten has performed with Kelley Donovon and Dancers, Tara Aisha Willis and the A.O. Movement Collective. She has worked with Yanira Castro | a canary torsi since 2011.

Suzanne Thorpe performs the electroacoustic flute, extended through hardware software components. As an improviser, Thorpe has performed nationally and internationally with Chris Brown, Chris Cogburn, Annette Krebs, Maggie Nicols, Pauline Oliveros, Gino Robair, Miya Masaoka, Fred Frith, Ulrich Krieger, Zbigniew Karkowski, Anti-Matter, Miguel Frasconi, and Zeena Parkins among others. From 1989 to 2001, she was a founding member of Mercury Rev, an internationally acclaimed band with which she composed, performed, recorded, produced, and toured, earning critical praise and a gold record for 1998’s Deserters’ Songs. Thorpe is one half of the flute and feedback duo thenumber46 with media artist Philip White, and one fourth of the quartet Volume(n).

Darrin M. Wright is a native of Los Angeles, California where he started tap dancing at the age of six. His early training began with Ian Gary, Janet Roston and Rudy Perez. In 1997, Darrin joined the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company as part of its farewell tour. He received his BFA in dance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2002. Since graduation, Darrin has had the pleasure of working with Susan Marshall, Terry Creach, Bill Young/Colleen Thomas, Jack Ferver, Tami Stronach, Amber Sloan, Jane Comfort, Lindsay Dietz-Marchant, Linsey Bostwick and Nina Winthrop. Darrin teaches master classes in technique, composition and improvisation throughout the country.  He has loved working with a canary torsi since 2008. Currently Darrin lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Tess Dworman is a choreographer and performer originally from Chicago, IL. She studied at the Laban Centre in London and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in Dance. In New York, her work has been presented by AUNTS, Center for Performance Research, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, Movement Research at the Judson Church, and Roulette Intermedium. She has also had the pleasure of performing in the works of Moriah Evans, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance, Tere O’Connor, and Mariana Valencia.

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