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Portraits in Red by Wanjiru Kamuyu 

Performance

(c) Stephane Chouan

Harris Theater
205 East Randolph Street
Chicago, IL, USA 60601

March 16, 2024 7:30pm - 8:30pm

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La Femme Dance Festival, produced by Red Clay Dance Company, is a three-day biennial celebration of women in dance that brings choreographic works created by women of the Black/African diaspora to Chicago audiences. Based in Paris, Kenyan choreographer and dancer Wanjiru Kamuyu – WKcollective will present her solo work Portraits in Red  at the Harris Theater.

Wanjiru Kamuy, a native Kenyan based in Paris will present her solo work, Portraits in Red, which investigates and explores the idea of the dominant standard of beauty and questions body image.

The work draws on the dominance of the European and US beauty and fashion industries’ capitalization and globalization of a narrow standard of beauty.

Born into a bi-cultural home (Kenyan-American) and having lived on three continents (Africa, North America and Europe), Wanjiru Kamuyu continues to be intrigued by each culture’s general relationship to the notion of beauty and the provocation that arises around the image of the body. 

About Wanjiru Kamuy

Wanjiru Kamuyu is associate artist with Theater L’Onde (Vélizy, France) and a Live Feed artist with New York Live Arts (USA), whose career began in New York City.

As a performer she has worked with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Bill T. Jones, Molissa Fenley, Anita Gonzales, Okwui Okpokwasili, Nathan Trice, Dean Moss, Tania Isaac, and more, and in Europe with choreographers Robyn Orlin, Emmanuel Eggermont, Nathalie Pubellier, Irène Tassembedo, Bartabas, Stefanie Batten Bland, writer-director Françoise Dô, visual artist Jean-Paul Goude, and TV director Christian Faure.

Additionally, Kamuyu has performed in television and Broadway musicals, including The Lion King (Paris) and FELA ! (UK and Equity European and US tours).

Kamuyu founded the associate dance company, WKcollective, with creative production agency camin aktion (Montpellier, France). Her choreographic projects include tours in the US, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Commissions include the musical À la recherché de Joséphine, director Jérôme Savary (Paris and International tours); Love is in the hair, director Jean François Auguste (France tour); Maître Harold, director Hassan Kassi Kouyate (Paris); US esteemed dance departments (Mills College, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Stephens College); artistic consulting for choreographer Bintou Dembele’s ZH; choreographer assistant for Nathan Trice’s Their speech is silver, Their silence is gold; storyteller Nathalie La Boucher’s La Chevauchée du Gange; and community engagement projects with New WORLD Theater (USA), choreographer Eun-mi Ahn’s project 1:59 (Festival Paris Quartier d’Été), Euroculture and the National Center for Dance project Assemblé (France).

While touring, she offers masterclasses and workshops to dance companies, universities, and community and dance centers. Kamuyu holds a MFA in Performance and Choreography) from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA). She has served as Visiting Guest Professor at Mills College (USA) and is currently core faculty for University of South Florida’s Dance in Paris semester and summer programs.

In partnership with

The Harris Theater

The Harris Theater, nestled in downtown Chicago near Millennium Park, hosts nearly 30 not-for-profit arts organizations and global artists, offering diverse performances. It’s a sought-after venue for live events, corporate functions, and commercial productions, with past appearances from renowned figures like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tom Hanks, and Sheryl Sandberg.

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