Rosy Simas Danse: she who lives on the road to war
September 10, 2022 – extended to February 19, 2023

Installation view of she who lives on the road to war. A lone chair sits against a backdrop of clouds and water, projected onto layers of scrim in a darkened gallery space.

Installation view of she who lives on the road to war, 2022. Photo: Rosy Simas, courtesy of Rosy Simas Danse.


she who lives on the road to war by Rosy Simas Danse will be 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. 


Performers Jessika (L) and Erin (R) hold string in their hands as they dance

Jessika Enoh Akpaka (L) and Erin Drummond (R) in she who lives on the road to war. Photo: Valerie Oliveiro, courtesy of Rosy Simas Danse.


Project Collaborators

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

Photograph by Tim Rummelhoff, Courtesy McKnight Fellowships for Choreographers

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.

Closing Reception: Sunday, February 5, 4–5 p.m. | Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota

Icon of a black ticket


Help celebrate the close of a successful run for this critically acclaimed performance and installation by Rosy Simas Danse. Stop by the Riverview Gallery at WAM on Sunday, February 5 for drop-in conversations with Rosy Simas and the company’s artists and collaborators. Light refreshments will be provided. This event is free, but RSVP is required.


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. 

This work has been supported by the Weisman Art Museum, U-Spatial, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and grants from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and Institute for Advanced Study.