Wilderness Info

“Wilderness is, among many other things, about the expectations ingrained in the minds of audiences preparing to watch dance, and about that which might emerge out of a less compartmentalized dialogue with the unknown, with the immediacy and potential of the performative moment. Watching, or rather participating, in Wilderness, one can just as easily lose themselves in the piece’s inherent suspense and intimacy as they can reflect on its dense and layered exploration of representation, death, and the unknowable.”
– Andrew Frank, BOMBlog


Wilderness is a site-adaptable dance and sound installation where the performance takes place with the audience in an elliptical field of black rubber mulch.

It was developed at five residences: two production residences at EMPAC, and development residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space at 14 Wall Street (donated by Capstone Equities), the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and Amherst College’s Theater & Dance Department.


Direction & Choreography: Yanira Castro
Performance & Choreography: Luke Miller, Peter Schmitz (soloist), Pamela Vail, Darrin Wright, and Kimberly Young
Pianist: Michael Dauphinais
Composer: Stephan Moore
Installation & Lighting Designer: Roderick Murray
Costume Designer: Albert Sakhai
Production Manager: William Schaffner


Wilderness was presented at:
EMPAC’s Filament Festival (World Premiere), Oct 1-3, 2010
The Invisible Dog Art Center, presented & commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop (NY Premiere), Oct 27-Nov 7, 2010
Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, Oct 20-21, 2011
Roschel Performing Arts Center at Franklin & Marshall College in PA, March 25-26, 2011



A New Language: Yanira Castro, by Andrew Frank for BOMBlog



Wilderness was commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop’s Commissioning and Creative Residency Program and by the American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program. Wilderness was funded, in part, by The Jerome Foundation, the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center, Meet the Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections Program, and EMPAC through an artist residency and production support: Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Wilderness was also supported with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

The tours of Wilderness were made possible by a touring grant from the National Dance Project, a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Wilderness was also made possible by the amazing generosity of the following individuals: JG & Haydee Castro, Sabine Dabady, Colin & Alice (Vail) Johannen, Jose Negroni Diaz y Lorraine Hernandez Caban, Heather Olson, Liam O’Rourke, RP, and Scottie and Walter Vail.

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien