Erin Kilmurray

Erin Kilmurray

Image from SEARCH PARTY (draft 1) showing ;
pictured dancers Stephanie Paul and Cassandra Porter; photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis, 2017

Search Party


SEARCH PARTY, is an immersive contemporary dance work exploring femme-identified bodies as they both set and test their own limits – their capability, vulnerability, their own personal stakes, and what might stand in their way. My creative methods are strongly informed by dance and performance spaces and how they act as creative cultural and social centers. SEARCH PARTY will investigate the intersection of the mindful dancing body as a physically-honed practice, a form of performative entertainment and a function of social dynamics.

This piece exists in the space between a sports arena and the dance floor of a nightclub – sometimes imagined, sometimes not.  I am curious about these spaces- their connecting behavioral norms and physical practices in relationship to concert dance venues. What happens when we treat the art-going experience like a spectator sport? What does it mean to witness a group of women in this way?

Artist Statement

Kilmurray is a choreographer and producer of fierce energy and vivid imagery. Always curious to renegotiate lines between performer and spectator, her work facilitates constant collaboration with the witnessing audience and the space it is being presented in. She makes kinetic, athletic, effortful, intimate dances that ignite in a place where people with differing experiences with dance can recognize.

In performance, her work offers its observer permission to both examine the material and be entertained- layering together choreography, image, performance environment, sound, and theatrics. With an emphasis on collaboration, these dances embrace a broad array of artistic communities driven by a desire to reveal new potential through innovative interactions.

Artist Bio

Erin Kilmurray

Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis

Erin Kilmurray dances and makes dances in Chicago. She is a choreographer working within contemporary dance and theater, creating work that resonates as concert dance, in lo-fi performance galleries, music venues, parties, film, and theater – intentionally shifting between immersive and proscenium spaces. Consequently, these works have been presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Chicago Reader, Thalia Hall , Constellation, Metro Chicago, WBEZ Chicago, Empty Bottle Presents, and has been supported through creative residency with Links Hall, High Concept Labs and The University of Chicago (Chicago Performance Lab). In addition to her independent work, Kilmurray serves on the Artistic Council for interdisciplinary production company The Inconvenience and is the Director + Choreographer of The Fly Honey Show, which is preparing for  it’s 8th season.

Kilmurray has been recognized both locally and nationally, including “Best Choreographer” (Chicago Reader, 2014) and one of “Four Artists Heating Up This Fall” (Chicago Magazine). Her collaboration + choreography on Bedrooms, a dance and music film by Quinn Tsan, has been awarded with Best Film (Flatlands Dance Film Festival ; In/Motion Dance Film Festival) and Best Film Narrative ( Jacksonville Dance Film Festival) and was selected for presentation in the Chicago-Local-Film-Festival : Movies In The Park.