“Recent scientific study verifies what many Native people have always known, that traumatic events in our ancestors lives are in our bodies, blood and bones. These events leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Our grandmother’s tragic childhood can trigger depression or anxiety in us, but we have the ability to heal these DNA encodings and change that trait for future generations.
We Wait In The Darkness is an art/dance work to heal the DNA scars of Simas’ grandmother, her mother, and our ancestors.
Within in an environment of images and sounds from Seneca lands, this new dance work engages past and future, DNA memory, and invisible presences, to create a personal artwork about loss, family, perseverance, and home.
“The Seneca people are matrilineal. We get our identity, our clan, and our inheritance from our mother, her mother, and her mother’s mother. The knowing of these ties is an essential part of belonging for all Haudenosaunee people.” – Rosy Simas
Choreographed and performed by: Rosy Simas
Original music composition: François Richomme
Letter reader: Laura Waterman Wittstock (Rosy’s mother)
Letters: Clarinda Waterman (Rosy’s grandmother)
Original lighting design: Karin Olson
Second lighting design: Carolyn Wong
Set design: Rosy Simas with contributions from Steven Carlino and François Richomme
Film: Rosy Simas with contributions from Douglas Beasley
US/Canada Tour 2014-2016
MAI (Montreal Arts Interculturels)
University of Riverside California Dance Department and the Culver Center
The Red Eye Theater, Minneapolis
All My Relations Arts, Minneapolis
SUNY Fredonia Dance and Theater Department, Fredonia, NY
Myrna Loy Center, Helena, MT
The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago
Maui Arts and Cultures Center
The Autry National Museum, Los Angeles
ODC Theater, San Francisco
American Indian Community Housing Organization & The University of Minnesota Duluth Dance and Theater Dept, MN
The Edge Center for the Arts, BigFork, MN
Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Living Ritual, Toronto, Canada
DANSEM, Marseille, France
We Wait In The Darkness is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. AND is underwritten by the American Composers Forum‘s Live Music for Dance Minnesota program in partnership with NewMusicUSA, with funds provided by the McKnight Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
We Wait In The Darkness is supported in part by First Peoples Fund and the Ford Foundation through grant from the FPF Our Nations Spaces Program.
Rosy Simas is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
This project has been supported by over 110 supporters via Hatchfund crowdfunding and GiveMN.org (a long list is coming soon).
In addition, individuals who contributed to this project through their scholarly advice, by providing housing, or participating in other ways are: Jim Simas, Laura Waterman Wittstock, Jack Erickson, John Waterman, Jr., Andrea Cooke, Berta Jones, and Becky Waterman.
photo by Ian Douglas