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the Function

Erin Kilmurray


Categories: Dance

Dates: September 16, 2023 - September 17, 2023

Run Time: 60 mins

Venue: The Icebox Project Space


the Function is a genre-bending,femme-powered dance work that asks and imagines what is possible when empowered to rebuild our environments, atmospheres, futures, and realities. With a playground of choreography and objects, four dancers actively create, operate, and destroy their own performance worlds through  DIY stage craft, iterative, athletic movement, bass driven, sonic storytelling, and house party energy.

Made within Chicago’s fringe performance scenes, choreographer Erin Kilmurray’s the Function is a f-cking vibe. Staged in a runway environment, audiences will be up close to the action and seated on multiple sides of the performance, where they are quite literally at the edge of being right inside the work.

Using clip lights, extensions cords, various kinds of hardware store detritus, and an onstage laptop, the dancers perform and run their own show through a messy and wild demonstration of agency, authorship and envisioning. Driven by risk and desire, in their world reality is in the eye of the beholder and squares of light gels make it rain; a discoball or the moon? Extension cords or a ceiling held up by the audience? Devised from cross-trainings between director, dancers, DJ, and designers, it is a relational practice towards artistic skill-sharing as creative mutual aid, modeling the kind of collective effort that proposes a culture tended in community.

the Function is created and performed by a truly fierce, rag-tag, super-group of Chicago’s baddest independent artists, brought to Philadelphia for the very first time, with Cannonball and Philadelphia Producing Partner, Ellen Chenoweth.

Cannonball, produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, is the first and largest independent festival hub of the Philadelphia Fringe that presents risk-taking independent artists in back-to-back performances next to delicious lounge spaces, fostering creative collisions and community conversation.

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About the Artist

Erin Kilmurray (she/they) is a Chicago-based dance artist creating genre-straddling, femme-forward performance work that demands aliveness and collectivity on stage, in studio, and with audiences. They facilitates a dance and community practice that relentlessly explores the celebrations and liberations of women, queer folks, the underground and the underdog. Her work embraces mess, play, eroticism, and lessons in how arbitrary the line between artist and audience can be.

Erin is the creator / director of legendary queer punk dance and variety performance project The Fly Honey Show, where pleasure is king and politics favor the queens. Fly Honey was established in a DIY living space in 2010 and recently sold out rock venue Thalia Hall, was featured at Lollapalooza 2022, and named a “Chicago institution” (Chicago Reader). She is recognized as an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Awardee (2023), a Chicago Dancemakers Lab Artist (2020), and one of 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago (2023; Newcity). Kilmurray was one of three artists commissioned for the inaugural Chicago Performs program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where she premiered her most recent work, the Function (2022). Additionally, Erin has made dances for countless independent makers, parties, music videos, festivals, concerts, and theatrical productions. She is on faculty at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.


  • Erin Kilmurray Director + Choreographer
  • Ellen Chenoweth Philadelphia Producing Partner
  • Keyierra CollinsPerformer + Collaborator
  • Kierah KIKI King Performer + Collaborator
  • Hannah SantistevansPerformer + Collaborator
  • Maggie VannucciPerformer + Collaborator
  • VITIGRRLSound Design
  • Bran Moorhead Technical Director + PSM

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