Jared Onyango

Jared Onyango


Performance artist and choreographer Jared Onyango’s work centres around pedestrian movements in public spaces. As a creator of dance based performances, Jared believes in cultivating joy and pleasure through shared dancing experiences, invigorating the group and facilitating diverse forms of expression through body movement. His latest projects include “Orodha Oracle” and “Jua Kali Pedestrian”, collaborating on the latter with Berlin-based dancer and choreographer Lea Pischke.

Jared’s vision and approach extend beyond traditional performance with an aspiration to transform research materials into finished art pieces. His research delves into the often overlooked elements in performance presentation, such as drawings, notations, and research visuals. Drawing inspiration from his projects, Jared explores alternative perspectives on movements, repetition, recycling, and resilience in the daily lives of ‘Jua Kali’ people (a colloquial term referring to the informal industry in Kenya, which mainly manufactures domestic products, often operating from temporary roadside setups).

He has trained at renowned institutions such as the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (P.A.R.T.S) in Brussels, Belgium, and Ecole des Sables in Senegal. Jared also received the DanceWeb Scholarship at the Impulstanz Festival in Vienna, Austria, and studied film and television at the Mohammed Amin Foundation.

Onyango co-founded Tempo Arts Centre (a community green space in Lucky Summer Estate, Nairobi) and has been recognised by the Prince Claus Fund and Goethe-Institut for his contributions to environmental change through art. He has been recognized with several awards, including the Cultural and Artistic Responses to Environmental Change from Prince Claus, the ICA Fellowship from the University of Cape Town, and the Pina Bausch Dance and Choreography Fellowship, and part of the Performance as Process residency at the Delfina Foundation in London.

Whilst with UJUZI, Jared aims to broaden his understanding of choreography beyond conventional definitions and cultivate more varied strategies for the presentation of his creative outputs. His ambition is to incorporate various mediums, such as photographs, videos, and installations, into his performances or as independent finished products while honing his research methods, and boosting his presentation skills. He is also eager to form networks and cultivate an artistic community leading to potential future collaborations.

Jared intends to share with fellow UJUZI mentors, artists, curators, faculty and audience his insights from his projects such as ‘Jua Kali’ and ‘Orodha Oracle’, which delve into everyday movements in Nairobi. These experiences encompass practices developed over time, such as translating abstract concepts like repetition into physical movement. Sharing these experiences can offer valuable perspectives and practices to the mentorship group.