Rosy Simas, Artistic Director
An award-winning Haudenosaunee (Seneca Nation, Heron Clan) mid-career choreographer based in Minneapolis, MN, Rosy Simas is a designer and director of dance, solo and collaborative performer, movement-based and multidisciplinary teacher, events curator, Indigenous and multicultural arts advocate, and mentor of diverse artists.
For over 20 years, her immersive, intersectional, Indigenous-centered artistic practice has remained historically situated, geographically grounded, and politically current nationally and internationally. A movement- and multimedia-based Native feminist, she critically centers Indigenous cultural/political persistence.
Building community across difference while maintaining a Native cultural focus, Simas collaborates with Indigenous, feminist/womanist, Two-Spirit/queer, people of color, and other differently-embodied dancers and artists to deepen and amplify her practice of engaging stories that create complex somatic, visual, and acoustic landscapes.
Her creative process begins within, and returns to, community as a way of giving back and remaining engaged with Native urban and reservation populations. Research, improvisation, and collaboration shape rehearsal, generating new work that is refined cyclically, iteratively, through performances in sites expected and unexpected, that expand and deepen our connections to place and the peoples of that place.
Simas was a 2013 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow, 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, 2016 McKnight Choreography Fellow and 2016 First Peoples Fund Fellow. Her work has been supported nationally by NEFA National Dance Project Production and Tour awards, and the National Presenters Network Creation Fund.
Simas’ work has been presented at MAI (Montréal Arts Interculturels), Univ. of Riverside/Culver Center, Red Eye Theater (MN), All My Relations Arts (MN), SUNY Fredonia, Myrna Loy Center (MT), Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago, Maui Arts and Cultures Center, Autry National Museum (CA), Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, ODC Theater (CA), American Indian Community Housing Organization (MN), Edge Center for the Arts (MN), Carleton College (MN), Kelly Strayhorn Theater (PA), Northwestern Univ. (IL), Indigenous Arts Program at Banff Centre (AB), Oneida Arts Program (WI), Talking Stick Festival (BC) and IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (NM).
Her work “Skin(s)” is touring to EastSide Arts (CA), Intermedia Arts (MN), LaPeña (CA), City of Chicago Cultural Center, AICHO (MN) and Northwestern University. Her solo “We Wait In The Darkness” will tour in 2017 to DANSEM (Marseille) and the Living Ritual Festival (Toronto).
In 2017 Simas co-curated with the Ordway – Oyate Okotakiciyapi – a series of Native contemporary dance events in the Twin Cities.