Erin Kilmurray

Erin Kilmurray

She // Her // Hers, They // Them // Theirs

[ID: A white woman with golden brown, shoulder-length hair and a beauty mark above their right eyebrow smiles and looks down towards the ground. They wear a black button-down shirt with a black leather harness laid over it.]

Portrait photo by Chloe Hamilton.

Dance Artist
Chicago, IL
2024 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Walder Foundation.

Erin Kilmurray is a Chicago-based dance artist creating genre-straddling, femme-forward performance works that demand aliveness and collectivity on stage, in the studio, and with audiences. Kilmurray’s practice is held up by collaboration and space-making that relentlessly explores the celebrations and liberations of women, queer folks, the underground, and the underdog. She is the chief visionary of legendary body-loving, variety performance project, The Fly Honey Show. Established in 2010, The Fly Honey Show has been named a “Chicago institution” by the Chicago Reader.

Kilmurray thinks across dance forms, performance environments, and the relationships between performer and spectator. Her work has been described by Newcity as “Moving energy…you don’t so much watch her choreography with your eyes as feel it pulsate through flesh, tendon and bone.”

She is recognized with a 2023 Illinois Arts Council Agency Fellowship, 2023 Links Hall Co-Mission Fellowship, and a 2020 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist. She has been named one of “50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago” by Newcity in 2023 and 2020, and was one of three artists commissioned for the inaugural Chicago Performs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 2022. Additionally, Kilmurray’s work has been shown in art houses, house parties, nightclubs, iconic music venues, on screen, internationally, and in theatrical productions.

the Function, 2022. 60 minutes. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Video courtesy of the artist.
  • Artwork by Erin Kilmurray
    Knockout, work in process. Watershed Art & Ecology space, Chicago. Photo by Sarah Larson.
    [ID: A black-and-white photograph of two performers captured mid-motion in a dynamic pose. The performer in the front's pose is a graceful and slow descent towards us as they rest on bended knee, torso torqued, and right arm outstretched. The second figure stands close with their hand on their partner's neck as they stretch their body in the opposite direction away from us.]
  • Artwork by Erin Kilmurray
    Search Party, 2019. 60 minutes. ArtTheater dB Kobe / NPO Dance Box, Japan.
    [ID: Six performers jump up in perfect unison on an empty stage. The performers are positioned in a circular formation, facing the left with their knees tucked under their torsos and hands at their thighs, resembling the fetal position.]
Artwork by Erin Kilmurray Artwork by Erin Kilmurray