American Realness

Rosy Simas

We Wait In The Darkness

Co-Presented by Abrons Arts Center & Gibney Dance


Saturday January 13, 4:00pm
Sunday, January 14, 7:00pm
Monday, January 15, 8:30pm

Run Time: 55 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse, 466 Grand Street, Manhattan
Single Tickets $25 / Abrons Festival Pass $20

Single Tickets Festival Pass

The spirits of the dead are not bound to the same laws of space time and dimensions of this universe that we are. Seneca beliefs and stories of relationship with our ancestors have always told us this. Once a year we dance for our ancestors, we feed them, we sing for them, and we pray for them. 

The Seneca people are matrilineal. Their identity, clan, and inheritance travels from mother to child. The knowing of these ties is an essential part of belonging for all Haudenosaunee people. 

We Wait In The Darkness is a ritual of action, storytelling, and images to heal the DNA scars of Simas’ grandmother and their ancestors. Engaging past and future, memory, and the invisible, the work tells a legacy of stories traversing losses, family, perseverance, and home. Set in a visual and auditory environment evoking Seneca lands, every performance generates more truth and healing for the scars in Simas’ lineage, and in all of us.

We Wait In The Darkness was created with support from 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 additionally supported in part by First Peoples Fund and the Ford Foundation through grant from the FPF Our Nations Spaces Program. 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. 
Photo by Ian Douglas

Choreographed and performed by: Rosy Simas
Original music composition: François Richomme
Letter reader: Laura Waterman Wittstock (Rosy’s mother)
Letters written by: Clarinda Waterman (Rosy’s grandmother)
Original lighting design: Karin Olson
Second lighting design: Carolyn Wong
Set and film design: Rosy Simas

Rosy Simas is a Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Heron Clan) mid-career artist based in Minneapolis.

Simas has been honored by the Native community with a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship (2013), a First Peoples Fund Fellowship (2016), Tiwahe Foundation’s American Indian Family Empowerment Program Fund grant (2014, 2016), and residencies at the Banff Centre Indigenous Arts Program (2013), Oneida Nation Arts Program (2003, 2010), All My Relations Arts (2014, 2018), Full Circle’s Talking Stick Festival (2012, 2014), and Institute of American Indian Arts’ Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (2014).

Simas is a Guggenheim Fellow (2015) and McKnight Choreography Fellow (2016). Her work is supported nationally by the Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge (awarded in 2017 to Rosy Simas Danse and O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine’s University); New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Production award (2013, 2017) and Tour award (2015), MAP Fund (2017), and National Performance Network Creation & Development Fund (2015).

Her solo, “We Wait In The Darkness” has been presented at venues such as: ODC; Dance Place; Maui Arts & Cultural Center; MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels); The Autry; The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago; SUNY Fredonia; the Living Ritual Festival in Toronto, and at DANSEM in Marseille, Fr.

Her work “Skin(s)” has toured to the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Intermedia Arts, La Peña Cultural Center, and EastSide Arts Alliance. It will tour in 2017/2018 to the City of Chicago Cultural Center, Gimaajii-Mino-Bimaadizimin (Duluth), and Northwestern University (Evanston).

Her exhibit “We Wait In The Darkness” has toured to All My Relations Arts (Minneapolis), The Edge Center (Big Fork, MN), Gimaajii-Mino-Bimaadizimin, and the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian (Evanston).