"An Immigrant's Story" by Wanjiru Kamuyu

  • PS21 Open-Air Pavilion Theater

    2980 New York 66
    Chatham, New York 12037
Ticket Price $10.00-$35.00 This event is now over

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


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About the work 

Wanjiru Kamuyu questions the notions of place, belonging and otherness. A cosmopolitan on three continents— Africa, North America, and Europe—wherever she decides to set up home, is she considered an immigrant?


A migratory map of encounters, her dance starts with ballet, studied during her childhood in Kenya, then moves to contemporary dance after her parents moved the family to the USA. Kamuyu’s dance reveals her career journey and delights in dances from the African continent and diasporas, as well as butõ. Her body is a constantly shifting map.


Kamuyu’s solo interrogates the gaze upon ‘the foreigner’ in a new space and society. The work uses satire to offer a critical eye on the notions of place and placement that are prevalent in today’s political discourse.


“Having lived on three different continents has provided the privileged space and time to absorb different cultures and worldviews. The current critically sensitive (im)migration issue at the forefront of worldwide political debates has inspired me to re-examine my (im)migration stories and consequentially cultivated a desire to examine the notions of and politics surrounding the privileged vs. unprivileged (im)migrant,” notes Kamuyu.


The show is performed in English. Show duration is 1 hour.


View the program


About the Artist

Dancer and choreographer Wanjiru Kamuyu is associate artist with Théâtre L’Onde Théâtre Centre d’Art, Scène Conventionnée Création pour la Danse. (Vélizy-Villacoublay, France). Born in Kenya, Kamuyu moved to France in 2007, but began her career in New York City. She has worked with choreographers such as Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Bill T. Jones (Broadway musical FELA!,) Okwui Okpokwasili, Molissa Fenley, Dean Moss and in Europe with Robyn Orlin, Emmanuel Eggermont, Nathalie Pubellier as well as Julie Taymor (Broadway musical The Lion King) amongst others. Kamuyu has performed in theater on The Lion King Paris production and FELA! UK production. Her choreographic projects include tours in the US, Africa, and Europe.


Choreographer 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

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
With the support of FUSED, French US Exchange in Dance & Villa Albertine.



The performances of Never Twenty One by Smaïl Kanouté and An Immigrant's Story by Wanjiru Kamuyu are part of Villa Albertine 2023 Dance SeasonA year-long celebration of the art of dance from inception to performance.

Venue Details

PS21 Open-Air Pavilion Theater

2980 New York 66
Chatham, New York 12037 PS21 Open-Air Pavilion Theater
PS/21 Inc

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About PS21

A vibrant center for contemporary performance in the Hudson Valley, PS21 “presents work that challenges and invites” (The New York Times): adventurous productions by leading and emerging American and international artists in music, dance, and theater, and visionaries creating entirely new genres. On our open-air Pavilion Theater stage, across our expansive, unspoiled grounds, and in the diverse surrounding communities, PS21 cultivates and presents productions that transcend aesthetic boundaries and revitalize existing artistic languages and grammars. Throughout the year, we host developmental residencies for dancers, musicians, actors, and creators of original, even unclassifiable new work. Rooted in community collaboration, PS21’s programming engages creatively with critical global and social issues. It is a mecca for innovative and original artistic voices, a destination for performance that can be experienced nowhere else in the region. PS21’s Pavilion Theater is a green-energy marvel surrounded by 100 acres of unspoiled meadows, trails, and woodlands that are a haven to wildlife and visitors across the region.  Integrated into our unspoiled campus, the theater embodies our commitments to the public: open, inviting, and optimized for their enjoyment and encouraging citizen expression and participation.


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