a canary torsi: STAGE [World Premiere]

Part of a trilogy CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR co-presented by the Chocolate Factory Theater + Invisible Dog Art Center


a canary torsi, led by choreographer Yanira Castro, presents the world premiere of STAGE, a visual and aural fantasia that positions the Abrons Playhouse as a center for spectacle. As a live improvised sound score accompanies choreographed stage machinations, this collaborative work reveals the manipulative possibilities of theatrical devices to determine what we perceive. STAGE is part of a trilogy of works premiering concurrently, including CAST (The Chocolate Factory) and AUTHOR (The Invisible Dog), that examines how we re(present) ourselves.

Directed and Choreographed by Yanira Castro

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

September 14
devynn emory, Luke Miller, Tara Aisha Willis, Darrin Wright

September 15
Kyle Bukhari, Simon Courchel, Leslie Cuyjet, Sai Somboon

September 16
devynn emory, Pamela Vail, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Tara Aisha Willis

September 21
Leslie Cuyjet, Iréne Hultman, Luke Miller, Darrin Wright

September 22
Simon Courchel, Leslie Cuyjet, Sai Somboon, Pamela Vail

September 23
Kyle  Bukhari, Iréne Hultman, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Tara Aisha Willis

Set, Lighting and Stage Design Kathy Couch
Composer and Sound Design Stephan Moore
STAGE Masks Miodrag Guberinic
Dramaturg Susan Mar Landau
Musicians Stephan Moore, Scott Smallwood, Suzanne Thorpe
Stage Manager Reilly Horan
Marketing Assistant Tara Sheena
Interns Noor Qasim, Zachary Grand, Chloe Tausk
Artist Representative Laura Colby, Elsie Management
Mask Making Support James Christie, Christianne Bakewell, Carlo Antonio Villanueva, Amir Hall, Julia G. Peiperl, Phuong Nguyen

The “Wall of Metals” instrument is based on the Steel Cello, invented by Peter Warren. Stephan Moore wishes to thank Sarah Warren for introducing him to the Steel Cello, and for her consultation and encouragement in building this instrument.  Thanks also to Noah Modie of Oxbow Design Build in Easthampton, MA for access to metal shop resources and essential assistance in the building process.

The “Cymbalic Wheel” instrument was developed in a residency at Issue Project Room, and was first created for the composition Prospectors commissioned by Harvestworks, Inc.

Company, Cast and Crew Bios:

Formed in 2009, a canary torsi‘s interdisciplinary work examines the moment of encounter between public bodies: performer and audience. We investigate issues at the foundation of performance: what brings us together, the nature of the space we inhabit, and how every aspect of our convergence is loaded with cultural, social, historical and personal choices that inform who we are, how we form meaning and how power is structured. The indeterminate performative systems we develop often utilize technology as a catalyst of spontaneous structures, patterns, and instructions to complicate authorship, encourage multiplicity and to impart the work with unpredictability.

Yanira Castro is a Puerto Rican born interdisciplinary artist making work in New York for 20 years. In 2009, she formed the collaborative group, a canary torsi, an anagram of her name. Castro’s work borrows from dance, performance, theater, and visual art often utilizing interactive technology to form hybrid projects. The work takes different forms — performances, installations, online and site-based projects — developing scenarios that place the public in unique relationships to the work.

Her work has been commissioned and presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater, Danspace Project, The Invisible Dog Art Center, Dance Theater Workshop, ISSUE Project Room and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her work has toured nationally and internationally including to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Vermont Performance Lab, The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, The Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, SPACE Gallery and the Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College. She is a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellow, 2017 Gibney Dance DiP Resident Artist, and a three-year participant of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life program. She received a 2009 NY Dance & Performance Award (aka BESSIE) for Dark Horse/Black Forest presented by Performance Space 122 in the lobby restroom of The Gershwin Hotel. The archive for her participatory performance project, The People to Come (thepeopletocome.org), was featured in The New Museum’s exhibit, Performance Archiving Performance, in 2013. Castro has been commissioned to create new works at Barnard College (NYC), The Wooden Floor (CA), Keene State College (NH) and Island Moving Company (RI).

Castro’s fellowships and residencies include: multiple choreographic fellowships from Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Fellow (2014-2012, 2007), _IN RESIDENCE Artist at Dancehouse in Melbourne, Australia, Vermont Performance Lab Artist (2012), Dance New Amsterdam AIR (2013), LMCC Process Space (2014) and Swing Space (2012, 2010), Pentacle’s ARC (2009/2008), Artist Ne(s)t AIR (2007, Romania), Sugar Salon AIR (2007), and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (2006, Bellagio, Italy). She has been recognized with various awards for her work, including from The New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, The Jerome Foundation, MAP Fund, New Music USA, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and USArtists International.

For 20 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 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 recent and ongoing collaborations with a canary torsi, Adele Myers + Dancers, Sara Smith, Vanessa Anspaugh, Karinne Keithley Syers, The Architects and Peter Schmitz. As a member of the a canary torsi creative team, Couch received a 2009 Bessie Award for Dark Horse/Black Forest and a 2012-13 Bessie Nomination for their 4-hour interactive performance installation–The People to Come. In Fall 2013, the archive component of The People to Come was featured in the exhibition Performance Archiving Performance, at the New Museum in New York. Kathy Couch currently teaches Lighting Design at Amherst College.

Stephan Moore is an audio artist, sound designer, composer, improviser, teacher, and curator based in Chicago. His creative work manifests as electronic studio compositions, improvisational outbursts, sound installations, scores for collaborative performances, algorithmic compositions, and sound designs for unusual circumstances. Evidence, his long-standing project with Scott Smallwood, has performed widely and released several recordings over the past 15 years. He is the president of Isobel Audio, LLC, the curator of Sonic Innovations at the Caramoor Center for music and the Arts, a member of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, The Nerve Tank, a canary torsi, Composers Inside Electronics, and the Wingspace Theatrical Design Collective. He toured for several years as the music coordinator and sound engineer of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Anthony McCall, and Animal Collective, among many others. He is a lecturer of sound art and sound design in the Department of Radio, Television and Film at Northwestern University.

Miodrag Guberinic is a New York based costume designer and artisan. He has been working for Broadway and off-Broadway productions, regional theater, television and dance productions. His commercial work includes NYC nightlife events, 5th avenue windows displays, world tour concerts and music videos. He grew up in Serbia where he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade with a BFA in Costume and Fashion Design. He was awarded a full scholarship to Northwestern University’s Stage Design Program, and graduated with an MFA in Theater Costume Design. Today, Mio resides in Brooklyn where he owns the design company Mio Design NYC and continues to work on a wide range of Costume projects. His work has been featured in national and international editorials, art and fashion books and at NY fashion week. You can see body of his work at miodragguberinic.com, miodesignstudio.com and follow his current work on instagram @miodesignnyc.