Yanira Castro Negroni has been making art in New York for 20 years. In 2009, she formed a canary torsi, an interdisciplinary collaborative that has come to be recognized for its bold, creative projects and its innovations in audience engagement. Her work borrows from dance, performance, theater and visual art, often using interactive technology to create hybrid projects.
Critics have called Castro’s creations “poetic,”“strange,”“transcendent,” “vivid,”“magical”and“disturbing.” Mary Love Hodges wrote in The Brooklyn Rail, “Roller coasters have nothing on this.”
Castro’s work has been commissioned and presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Invisible Dog Art Center, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), among other groups, and has toured nationally and internationally. Castro is a 2017 Gibney Dance DiP Resident Artist, 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellow, 2014 Returning Choreographic Fellow at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography and current par- ticipant in the LMCC’s Extended Life program. Her evening-length piece Dark Horse/Black Forest won a 2009 Bessie Award.
Castro draws inspiration from a formidable roster of female mentors.“I come from a family of strong women, insane in their work ethic and seemingly boundless in their energy,” she told Amherst magazine in 2012. “I owe a lot to mythical stories of their mischief and brazenness.” Originally from Puerto Rico, she earned her B.A. in theater and dance and English from Amherst, where she was especially influenced by professors Wendy Woodson and Suzanne Palmer Dougan. Castro’s own commitment to mentorship of students within the Five Colleges sets an example for new generations of Amherst artists, and is a meaningful reflection of the qualities we encourage in our students and treasure in our alumni.