AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SATIRE ABOUT BEING AN IMMIGRANT

Wanjiru Kamuyu brings to life emotional stories of immigration through blending different dance styles with painful memories.

In her solo work An Immigrant’s Story, Wanjiru Kamuyu explores an immigrant’s place and sense of belonging. She takes us on a personal journey with intimate stories of finding herself uprooted, being different to others and trying desperately to find her place. 

Alone on stage, surrounded by 35 black chairs, Kamuyu tells us through her words and dance about the objectification, exotification and racism she has encountered on her travels around the globe. She reflects upon the privilege of the white cis male, the complexity of being a foreigner and how asphyxiating prejudice and cultural biases can be.

Like a crucible, she combines African, European and American influences in her work. Her nomadic body is an ever-changing map, stylised as something both assimilated and stigmatised: there is a satirical undertone to the performance that is compelling in its straightforwardness.

PRESS reviews

“The surprising traveler.”
Philippe Noisette | Les Inrocks | Dance Review

“‘An Immigrant’s Story’, a story of humanity, vibrant and disturbing… If there was a reason to stand up and say how a singular form deeply moves, one would find themselves evoking performer and conceptual designer, Wanjiru Kamuyu, and the embodiment of her project. (…)
Rendering present the propensity to despise the migrant, a subclass of humankind, she escapes the stage, a circumscribed performance space, to rush into the stands thus including the audience in her caustic interrogation. Who is this ‘We’ who speaks with sufficiency, offering a presumed universal ‘History’? (…) How can one not be won over by the intelligent foresight projected with so much conviction and sincerity?”

Yves Kafka | La Revue du Spectacle | Dance Critic

credits

Choregrapher and performer: Wanjiru Kamuyu
Dramaturge and producer: Dirk Korell
Texts: Laetitia Ajanohun
Music composition: LACRYMOBOY
With the voices of: Sherwood Chen, David Gaulein-Stef, Naïs Haidar, Karine Hanselmann, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Dirk Korell, Crystal Petit, Monika Schwarzl, Sean Seago
And the stories of: Tout-Monde
Light design: Cyril Mulon
Costume design: Birgit Neppl
Production intern: Yvan-Loïc Kamdem Djoko

Special thanks to: Robyn Orlin, Jean Gaudin and David Gaulein-Stef
Executive production: camin aktion
Co-production: Espace 1789 de Saint-Ouen, scène conventionnée de Saint-Ouen
La Manufacture CDCN Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux ‎• La Rochelle
L’échangeur – CDCN Hauts-de-France
Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration
Théâtre de la Ville – Paris
L’Onde Théâtre Centre d’Art, Scène Conventionnée d’Intérêt National – Art et Création pour la Danse
micadanses, Paris

Funding:
Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d’Île-de-France
Région Ile-de-France
SPEDIDAM

Residencies:
Direction des Affaires Culturelles de la Ville d’Aubervilliers – Espace Renaudie
SUBS, Lyon, Saison 2019-20

Partnership – residencies:
L’échangeur – CDCN Hauts-de-France
La Manufacture CDCN Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux ‎• La Rochelle
La Place de la Danse – CDCN Toulouse/Occitanie

Partnership – studio space:
Atelier de Paris / Centre de développement chorégraphique national
Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers
CN D Centre national de la danse, Pantin
micadanses, Paris (as part of a specific partnership)

Tours with Dancenet Sweden spring 2022