Dark Horse Info

“My heart is racing, and I’m having the most intense relationship to a performance that I’ve ever had…This is Yanira Castro’s Dark Horse/Black Forest, and its gripping, scary, adrenaline-producing work. I walked away from it with the kind of thrill you might get from doing something totally crazy with a stranger. It feels dangerous. There’s that intensity of not knowing what will come next, the intimacy, immediacy, physicality, and emotional suggestion—and the utter impossibility of being able to recreate that rush with words. Roller coasters have nothing on this.”
– Mary Love Hodges, Brooklyn Rail


Dark Horse/Black Forest is a dance installation for public and private bathrooms. It was developed at ArtistNe(s)t, a project by the Swiss Cultural Council by Pro Helvetia at The George Apostu Cultural Center in Bacau, Romania and premiered in New York at the Gershwin Hotel in June 2009, co-presented by Performance Space 122 and Neke Carson. It has been presented at various venues nationally and internationally. Dark Horse at the Gershwin Hotel was awarded a 2009 NY Dance & Performance (aka, Bessie) Award.


Direction & Choreography: Yanira Castro
Live Performance (2 casts): Heather Olson + Joseph Poulson, Luke Miller + Darrin Wright
Video Performance: Yanira Castro, David Sangalli + Marya Wethers
Lighting Designer: Kathy Couch
Costume Designer: Suzanne Dougan
Installation Designer: Charles Merritt Houghton
Composer: Stephan Moore
Video Artist: Peter Richards
Twitter Feeds: Rozalia Jovanovic
Sound Installation: Lauren McCarthy


In 2009, a canary torsi commissioned three artists to join Castro in creating projects aligned Dark Horse. Writer Rozalia Jovanovic created two fictional Twitter feeds inspired by the affair of the male and female characters in Dark Horse. New media artist Lauren McCarthy gave the Twitter feeds automated voices, playing their conversation through objects placed in the Gershwin Hotel lobby. Lastly, video artist Peter Richards created a video for the Gershwin’s guest rooms.

Twitter feeds:

Overhere project:

Peter Richard’s video:


Dark Horse/Black Forest was presented at seven venues:
George Apostu Cultural Center, George Bacovia Theater, Bacau, Romania (in progress) May 28, 2007
Roschel Performing Arts Center, Franklin & Marshall College, PA, Oct 5-7, 2007
International Contemporary Dance Festival, Riga, Latvia, Jun 5-9, 2008
Norwood Club, PS122 Gala, NYC, Aug 18, 2008
international tanzmesse nrw, tanzhaus, Düsseldorf, Germany, Aug 27-30, 2008
Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, PA , Feb 7, 2009
Gershwin Hotel presented by P.S. 122 and Neke Carson, (NY Premiere) June 5-28, 2009



Dance Theater in Small Spaces, by Mary Love Hodges for the Brooklyn Rail

Yanira Castro’s “Dark Horse/Black Forest,” by Carrie Stern for dance.com

Dark Impulses, Intimate Settings, by Debra Griboff for Encore Magazine

Yanira Castro’s Restroom Pas de Deux, by Michelle Vellucci for Flavorwire

Romances stalled in hotel john, Metro

How’s he doing?, by Lori Ortiz for The Villager



Dark Horse/Black Forest was made possible by grants from the Trust for Mutual Understanding, Dance Theater Workshop’s Suitcase Fund, and a Faculty Research Grant from Amherst College.

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