About Rosy Simas

Simas WWID

Rosy Simas in “We Wait In The Darkness” 2014

“It takes a special kind of performer to bewitch an audience with stillness. Rosy Simas has that gift. An articulate dancer, Simas has the ability to suffuse the smallest movements, or even complete motionlessness, with a captivating aura.” – Sheila Regan, City Pages, January 2015

Rosy Simas (Seneca) is a Minneapolis based performer working primarily as a choreographer. Her approach to dance making is multi-faceted: She designs immersive containers for performance using sound, textiles, film, and paper. Within these containers are her dances of sensorial, intentional, and gestural movement.

Simas choreography is excavated from history, ancestry, and culture which are stored in the body. Simas’ dance work investigates how culture, history, home, and identity are stored in the body and can be expressed in movement. Her work is driven by many inspirations: philosophy, relationships, art, film, nature, poetry, music, and history. She has created work speaking to a wide range of subject matter – from the Iraq war to her grandmother’s American Indian boarding school experience.

Simas is a 2016 McKnight Choreography Fellow, a 2016 First People’s Fund Artists in Business Leadership Fellow, a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Dance Fellow.

Her solo We Wait In The Darkness is touring 14 cities in North America with support from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Dance Project and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Simas is currently touring Skin(s), a dance work that brings together presenting organizations with community and Native artists. Skin(s) is commissioned by presenters in Minneapolis, Berkeley and Oakland – and will tour to Chicago and Duluth. Skin(s) is supported by a 2015 National Presenters Network Creation Fund award, a 2016 NEFA National Dance Project Touring Award, and commissioned by Intermedia Arts (Minneapolis), EastSide Arts Alliance (Oakland), and LaPeña (Berkeley).

In 2016, in addition to creating new work for international audiences, she is enjoying creating dances for students at Northwestern University, St. Paul Conservatory of the Arts, and the University of Minnesota.

Simas is also working this year on co-curating with the Ordway – Oyate Okotakiciyapi – a series of Native contemporary dance events in the Twin Cities in March 2017.

Rosy Simas Resume

Twin Cities City Pages Artist of the Year, 2014
Minnesota Sage Dance Award for Outstanding Design, 2014

Fellowships and Awards
McKnight Fellowship for Choreography, 2016
First People’s Fund Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship, 2016
New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Tour award, 2016
Minnesota State Arts Board, Dance Artist Initiative Award, 2014, 2016
Guggenheim Creative Arts Fellowship for Choreography, 2015
National Presenters Network Creation Fund, 2015
Minnesota State Arts Board, Arts Tour Grant Award, 2014-2015
First People’s Fund Our Nations Spaces Grant Award with Dance Place, 2014
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Arts Activities Grant Awards: 2001, 2011, 2013, 2014
Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Dance Fellowship, 2013
New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Production/Tour award, 2013
Tiwahe Foundation Grant Award, 2013
American Composers Forum Live Music for Dance Grant Award, 2013
MRAC/McKnight Foundation Next Step Fund Grant Award, 2012
Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural, Community Partnership Grant Awards, 2005, 2012

Skin(s), Intermedia Arts (Minneapolis), EastSide Arts Alliance (Oakland), and LaPeña (Berkeley), 2016.
Within Our Skin, University of Minnesota Department of Dance (Minneapolis), Northwestern University Department of Dance (Chicago), and St. Paul Conservatory for the Arts (St. Paul), 2016.
Skin(s) (duet study), Right Here Series (Minnesota), 2014.
Where Are We Going, Oneida Nation Arts Program, 2003 (Green Bay, WI)
Moments In Between, Jerome Performance Art Commissioning Project at Intermedia Arts, 2002 (Minneapolis)
Momentum Series – Walker Art Center/Southern Theater, (Minneapolis), 2001

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art Social Engagement Residency, 2014 (Santa Fe, NM)
Banff Centre for the Arts Indigenous Arts Program Residency, 2012 (Canada)
Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI), Creation/Performance Residency 2014 (Canada)

We Wait In The Darkness, The Edge Center, Big Fork, MN, April 2016.
We Wait In The Darkness, Gimaajii-Mino-Bimaadizimin, Duluth, MN, November 2015.
All My Relations: A Seneca History, Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Chicago, 2014-2015.
We Wait In The Darkness, All My Relations Arts, Minneapolis, June-July 2014.

Choreography (2006-2016)

Skin(s) (in development) commissioned by: Intermedia Arts (Minneapolis), EastSide Arts Alliance (Oakland), LaPeña (Berkeley). Premiering October 2016.
Within Our Skin 2016 iterations for: University of Minnesota Department of Dance (Minneapolis), Northwestern University Department of Dance (Chicago), and St. Paul Conservatory for the Arts (St. Paul).
We Wait In The Darkness, February 2014 Canadian premiere at Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI). July 2014 U.S. Premiere at Red Eye Theater, Minneapolis. 2014-2106 Tour: ODC (San Francisco), Dance Place (Washington D.C), Maui Arts and Cultural Center, The Autry (Los Angeles), Dance Center at Columbia College of Chicago, UCR/Culver Center (Riverside), SUNY Fredonia (Fredonia, NY), The Myrna Loy Center (Helena, MT), The American Indian Housing Organization (Duluth, MN), The Edge Arts Center (Big Fork, MN), Carleton College (Northfield, MN). Excerpt also presented at the Judson Memorial Church by Movement Research (New York City).
Skin(s) various dance studies, presented by: Right Here Series (Minneapolis), IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe), Full Circle Productions Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver, BC).
I Took My Lucky Break And I Broke It In Two, January 2013 presented in Échange: the Twin Cities/Montréal Dance Exchange at the JSB Tek Box in The Cowles Center (Minneapolis).
Blood Lines, September 2012 U.S. premiere, Southern Theater (Minneapolis). February 2013 Canadian premiere, Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver, BC) 2013 Tour: Performance Mix Festival (New York City) and University of California at Riverside.
Listen, September 2012, a solo for Jim Liberthal, Southern Theater (Minneapolis). Winner of a Minnesota Sage Award for Outstanding Performance.
Threshold, art/dance film in collaboration with photographer Douglas Beasley. July 2013 U.S. premiere, Dreamland Arts (St. Paul). February 2014 Canadian premiere, Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI). March 2016 in the MNTV series (IFP/ Twin Cities PBS/Walker Art Center), at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis).
Threshold, September 2012, Southern Theater (Minneapolis).
i want it to be raining and the window to be open, premiere November 2012 Choreographer’s Evening, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. April 2013, Performance Mix Festival (New York City).
Alice, March 2012 at the Cedar Cultural Center, the Red Eye Theater, and 9×22 at Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, (Minneapolis).
Without Skin Between Us, July 2010, Bedlam Theater, Minneapolis.
Le Côte, Birds & Stationnement Resident Seulement, October 2008 premiere, Studio 303 (Montréal), and March 2009 at the California Building (Minneapolis).

Community Engagement Residencies:
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art (Santa Fe) 2014, Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver) 2013/2014, and Onieda Arts Program (Green Bay) 2001/2002/2010.
Workshops: Studio 303 (Montréal) 2008/2009/2011, MAI (Montréal Arts Interculturels) 2014, Zenon Dance School (Minneapolis) 2009-2015.
Master classes: University of California at Riverside 2013, State University of New York at Fredonia 2014, Carroll College/Myrna Loy Center (Helena, MT) 2014, Dance Center of Columbia College (Chicago) 2014, Dance Place (Washington D.C.) 2015, Maui Arts and Cultures Center (Hawaii) 2015, University of California at Berkeley 2015, ODC (San Francisco) 2015, The Cowles Center for Dance (Minneapolis) 2015/2016, and Northwestern University (Chicago) 2016.