2019-2020 – Incubator Project she who lives on the road to war will explore Native feminist leader Jigonhsasee’s foundational influence on the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the U.S. Constitution. I will contribute to indigenizing our history by tracing this cultural–political genealogy through my embodied relationship to it: through dance. I will weave the real and imagined histories of how the Haudenosaunee Confederacy coalesced from separate Nations and feature Jigonhsasee’s role in envisioning new governing structures, peoples, and territories. Recuperating lost…
Weisman Art Museum (WAM) is pleased to present she who lives on the road to war by Rosy Simas Danse in the Weisman’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration gallery from September 10, 2022 – February 19, 2023. The project includes a new installation and in-gallery performances throughout the fall of 2022.
she who lives on the road to war is an immersive installation and dance performance created by Rosy Simas in response to global loss and the collective need to come together in peace and reconciliation. It is both a physical space for rest and refuge, and a performative work of Native futurities that imagines a world of relational balance with nature and with each other.
This new work takes its title from the Haudenosaunee historical figure Jigonhsasee, who encouraged war between tribes before becoming an instrument of peace. Jigonhsasee’s wisdom and vision helped Hiawatha and the Peacemaker bring the Nations together as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
Their artist statement reads: “Audiences are invited to gather, rest, grieve, condole with one another, and to consider how we can all work towards reconciliation during the dual pandemics of systematic racism and COVID-19.”
she who lives on the road to war will have a dual premiere at WAM and in the heart of the Twin Cities’ Native community, at All My Relations Arts. After its performance run in Minneapolis, the work will tour to Gibney in New York City, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and other cities.
Director: Rosy Simas
Composer: François Richomme
Lighting Designer: Heidi Eckwall
Performers: Jessika Enoh Akpaka, Lelis Brito, Erin Drummond, Sam Johnson, Sam Aros Mitchell, Valerie Oliveiro, Pedra Pepa, Sharon Picasso, Lela Pierce, Rosy Simas, Judee Shui Xian, Jeffrey Wells, Taja Will
Production Manager/Community Engagement Coordinator: Sequoia Hauck
Studio/Production Assistant: Atim Opoka
Rosy Simas, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Heron Clan), is a choreographer and film and visual artist based in Minneapolis. Her work investigates how culture, history and identity are stored in the body and expressed in movement. For more than twenty years she has created work that addresses a wide range of political, social and cultural subjects from a Native feminist perspective. She has received support from Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, First Peoples Fund, Guggenheim Foundation and McKnight Foundation, and she is a Dance USA Fellow as well as a Joyce Awardee.
Image credit (top): Installation view she who lives on the road to war, 2022. Photo: Rosy Simas, courtesy of Rosy Simas Danse.
All My Relations Arts honors and strengthens relationships between contemporary American Indian artists and the living influence of preceding generations, between artists and audiences of all ethnic backgrounds, and between art and the vitality of the American Indian Cultural Corridor.
Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) amplifies and advances the Native American Community’s vision for a vibrant future. NACDI’s work is founded on the belief that all American Indian people have a place, purpose and a future strengthened by sustainable community development. NACDI initiates projects that benefit the Native community, often in partnership with other Indigenous-led organizations.
Initial research for she who lives on the road to war was supported by the Weisman Art Museum’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration and the Pamela Beatty Mitchell Residency in Contemporary Dance at Colorado College Department of Theater and Dance. This presentation of she who lives on the road to war is made possible by a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation SHIFT award, The MAP Fund, and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. Projects of Rosy Simas Danse are supported by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and the McKnight Foundation.