Audience Contributions Inspire Vermont Performance Lab Event

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Choreographer Yanira Castro to preview interactive performance installation on September 29

MARLBORO, VT (September 13, 2012) -- The next time Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) audience members attend an IN THE WORKS performance, they may recognize themselves on stage. As part of a residency with VPL, New York choreographer Yanira Castro is developing a new interactive performance piece, The People to Come, using audience-submitted materials as inspiration. Castro will preview the piece during a work-in-progress showing on September, 29 at the Town House in Marlboro, Vermont. 

yanira-thumbSince 2000, Castro has been creating clean, elegantly-designed works that explore the relationship between audience and performance event, and examine questions of intimacy, control and ultimately the agency of the audience in the performance environment. The People to Come is Castro's latest project with a canary torsi, the name under which she collaborates with performers and designers to create site-adaptable, installation-based performance projects.

Utilizing VPL's innovative Lab Program, Castro has been testing strategies and techniques for community engagement in her research and performance process. Three research visits to Vermont in the spring and summer of 2012 allowed her to meet with librarians, archivists and collections managers to design a website and online archive for the images, videos and text contributed by the public. Her research also included attending Town Meeting in Marlboro, and the town's annual Summer Sale to gather portraits and other materials from area residents for use in the Vermont performance.

TPTC HO still5 copyDuring her week-long production residency this month, Castro will work with installation/lighting/costume designer Kathy Couch, composer Stephan Moore and a cast of five dancers to install and perform The People to Come at the nineteenth century Marlboro Town House. Community members are invited to participate by visiting and contributing a pattern, a portrait or a task to the online archive. Audience members can then see how their material manifests in the live performance on September 29.

This residency and IN THE WORKS showing are made possible in part with support from the New England Foundation for the Arts' Expeditions Program, National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the six New England state arts agencies and VPL's Creation Fund donors.

Work-in-progress presentation of The People to Come
WHERE: Saturday, September 29, 2012, 4:00-8:30PM
WHEN: Marlboro Town House, 510 South Road, Marlboro, VT
WHAT: The culmination of a week-long residency at Vermont Performance Lab, The People to Come is the convergence of audience and choreographic material in real-time. At each show, five performers create a dance using a 19-minute solo by choreographer Yanira Castro and the audience's material as inspiration. Anyone can contribute material at and potentially see their pictures, video, and text reflected in the performance.

Free and open to the public. For reservations and more info call 802-257-3361 or visit

Yanira Castro is a director/choreographer based in Brooklyn who collaborates with performers and designers on individual projects under the name: a canary torsi. Her performance works integrate movement, installation, music, text, and visual elements such as film and video. She has developed work for a variety of spaces including: the Old American Can Factory, The Gershwin Hotel, The Invisible Dog, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, among others.

Castro's work has been presented in New York by Dance Theater Workshop, Performance Space 122, The Chocolate Factory, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), and HERE Arts Center, among others. Her work has toured nationally and internationally and has been recognized with various awards including: NEFA's National Dance Project Touring Award, The Jerome Foundation, The MAP Fund, New York Foundation for the Art's BUILD, Meet the Composer's Commissioning Music/USA program, American Music Center Live Music for Dance, Trust for Mutual Understanding, USArtists International, and LMCC's Swing Space program, among others.

ABOUT a canary torsi:
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.

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.

Stephan Moore is a sound artist based in Providence and Brooklyn whose work manifests in a variety of contexts. As an improviser, he has performed with such notable musicians as Pauline Oliveros, John Paul Jones, Christian Wolff, William Winant, Ikue Mori, David Behrman, Keith Rowe, Larry Polansky, and Joan La Barbara. He is a member of the improvisation bands Evidence (with Scott Smallwood) and Volume (with Shelley Burgon, Maria Chavez, and Suzanne Thorpe). His electronic, acoustic, and hybrid compositions have been performed internationally, and are available on the Deep Listening Label.

Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) is a laboratory for creative research and community engagement. Over the last five years, VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to the grange halls, studios and classrooms of rural Vermont through its innovative artist residency program. Last year VPL's community and education programs served more than 500 students, families and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences. VPL often partners with local organizations to host such residencies and create meaningful connections between artists and communities.