I came here to weep 

I came here to weep 

2023/2024 Tour Dates

Please check back soon for newly announced tour dates!

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“In the process, what is hinted at are the aspects of political life as an American citizen that also register as voluntary decision rather than call to action: the privilege of buying-in and opting-out as public response to humanitarian crisis at a cognitive distance. In the space of performance, however, where we are inclined to do as others do, Castro tells us ardently: no is an action, yes is letting go into the abyss.”

-Sariel Golomb, Medium
full article (PDF)

The curator Tara Aisha Willis describes the booklet format as ‘somewhere between an instruction manual and a prayer book.’”

, The New York Times
full article (PDF)

Rollercoasters have nothing on this.

Mary Hodges, The Brooklyn Rail
full article (PDF)

More Press Quotes

Castro here challenges all your assumptions about performance, and forces you to wake up. Gamble on it.

Elizabeth Zimmer, Metro
full article (PDF)

Castro’s ‘Paradis’ feels like it grew organically out of the ground (or descended from the heavens), like the lovely trees and flowers that cover the garden’s fifty-two lush acres. No mere spectacle, the piece invites the viewer to become part of a magical experience, a fitting tribute to the beauty of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the endless imagination of Castro and her company.

This Week in New York

Throughout [Court/Garden], Castro maintains an interesting tension… between seductive beauty and those things that make you seriously question what you find beautiful, why you do and who the hell you think you are to judge.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Infinite Body
full article (PDF)

[Yanira Castro and her company] shatter the mannerisms and ethos of the Baroque period and reassemble these gilded fragments to forge something contemporary yet wholly reminiscent in ‘Court/Garden’.

Erin Bomboy, Dance Enthusiast
full article (PDF)

…like a poem come to life.

Michelle Vellucci, Flavorwire
full article (PDF)

Forget the safety of distance; this is the palpable sensation of art – up-close and personal.

Deborah Gibroff, Encore Magazine
full article (PDF)

Choreographer Castro’s upcoming duet takes voyeurism to a precipice.

Lori Ortiz, Gay City News
full article (PDF)

Castro’s work is intellectual. Her movement is quirky; remarkably polished performances propel her unexpected stutters and awkward positions…Castro’s smart, kooky shenanigans captivate…

Chris Dohse, The Village Voice

Yanira Castro has found an individual voice.

Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times


Enacted by the public, I came here to weep is made up of participatory scores with corresponding materials and environments that examine US territorial possession through the redaction, deconstruction, and performance of absurdist colonial texts. In this showcase, you will have the opportunity to enact the “Transmission Score” – or to observe.

With I came here to weep, Castro has created a performative project that serves as an iterative platform investigating the complex relations of citizenship vis-à-vis Borikén (Puerto Rico) and the United States. Supported by a Creative Capital grant, I came here to weep received its premiere at The Chocolate Factory in NYC in fall, 2023. A portion of the experience was presented in San Francisco at ODC.  I came here to weep is “a collective awakening, the meeting of a performance cult, a shelter-building exercise for strangers, leaves the closing night audience at ODC Theater in a stunned silence.” – Jen Norris for Jen Norris Dance Reviews

I came here to weep proposes audience assembly, transmission, and revenge and invites the public into multiple forms of witnessing and activating the performative work. Those modes are: Open Hours dedicated to the public’s independent exploration of the project’s scores and environments; Group Activations/collective performances with Yanira Castro; Communal Meals with invited local Boricua artists/activists/thinkers; and a Tea Ritual developed with local Boricua teens. The touring company is comprised of 5 people in total. Engagements can be customized accordingly.

I came here to weep flip book

Enacted specifically and uniquely with and by each audience, Last Audience is a live or virtual laboratory for the communal work of conjuring. Comprised of a set of unique scores, the piece grapples with agency and manipulation, negotiating the individual and the collective inside a theatrical context. Drawing on language and themes from requiems and Greek classical tragedy on judgement and democratic formation, Last Audience moves inside the unstable space between the perfunctory and the transformative.

Last Audience trailer

a canary torsi | Yanira Castro, Last Audience/COMMUNE

  • This virtual showcase includes footage accompanied by a conversation between interdisciplinary Artist Yanira Castro & Christopher Nunez, Collaborating Artist and Accessibility Consultant


a canary torsi creates site-adaptable dance projects within visual and audio environments. Established in 2009 by New York director/choreographer Yanira Castro, a canary torsi invites audiences to engage in scenarios that are anchored around live performance and extend into other media and online platforms. These multidisciplinary arts collaborations incorporate unconventional sites and transform traditional venues. Ranging from formalist movement and immersive audio installations to fictional Twitter feeds and photographic narratives, Castro’s collaborations plunder behavior, gesture, text and sound from a multitude of source: fiction, film, photography to engage participants in an immediate, personal encounter with the work.

Yanira Castro is a Puerto-Rican born and Brooklyn-based director/choreographer. In 2009, she formed a canary torsi, a core group of performers and designers developing performance scenarios within visual and audio environments where the audience’s presence dramatically impacts the work. She has created nine evening-length works, receiving a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award in 2009 for Dark Horse/Black Forest presented by Performance Space 122 in the lobby restroom of The Gershwin Hotel. The archive for a participatory multi-media performance installation, The People to Come (, was featured in The New Museum’s exhibit, “Performance Archiving Performance,” in 2013. Castro’s work has been presented by Danspace Project, New York Live Arts/Dance Theater Workshop, The Invisible Dog Art Center, ISSUE Project Room, The Chocolate Factory, The BEAT Festival and The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), among others, and has toured nationally and internationally. She is currently a participant in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life program. Other fellowships and Artist-in-Residency programs include: Returning Choreographic Fellow at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, Vermont Performance Lab Artist, Artist Ne(s)t (Romania), and Rockefeller Foundation (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 MAP Fund, The Jerome Foundation, New Music USA, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and USArtists International. Castro received her B.A. in Theater & Dance and Literature from Amherst College.

Downloads & Links

Website: a canary torsi
a canary torsi on FacebookTwitter,  Vimeo
a canary torsi press kit
I came here to weep flip book

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