Presentation of New Work by Helen Simoneau Danse (3/21/19)

Helen Simoneau and dancers performing "Darling".

As the founder and artistic director of her own dance company, Helen Simoneau Danse, Simoneau has become a highly sought-after choreographer by companies, schools and festivals and has been described as “a choreographer-on-the-rise” with a style that is both “athletic and smooth” by Dance Magazine. She used her Creative Arts Initiative (CAI) residency to create a new dance work, "Darling," which was be presented for the first time on March 21, 2019.

From left: Dominica Greene, Donovan Reed, Claire Westby, and Burr Johnson performing "Darling" by Helen Simoneau

Founded in 2010, Helen Simoneau Danse (HSDanse) is committed to creating and performing the compelling dance works of it’s founder and choreographer Helen Simoneau and has been presented in Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and toured throughout Germany, Asia, and the United States. Simoneau has been commissioned by The Juilliard School, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the American Dance Festival, UNC School of the Arts, The Yard, Springboard Danse Montréal, and the Swiss International Coaching Project (SiWiC) in Zurich. Most recently, Simoneau was resident artist at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Bates Dance Festival and has received fellowships from The NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts, the Bogliasco Foundation, as well as twice from the North Carolina Arts Council. Notable venues that have presented Simoneau’s work include The Guggenheim Museum (NYC), Dance Place (DC), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Tangente (Montréal), The Aoyama Round Theatre (Tokyo), the L.I.G. Art Hall Busan (South Korea), Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out (MA), PACT-Zollverein in Essen (Germany), and Athens International Dance Festival (Greece). Her work was also presented at the 13th Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theatre Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was awarded 1st place for Choreography.

Simoneau's CAI residency involved UB students and the Buffalo dance community in her collaboration with 4 dancers, composer Nathalie Joachim and costume designers Reid & Harriet. The goal was to intersect and engage with the University of Buffalo students and the Buffalo Community by demystifying the choreographic process and giving participants an entry point into the ways choreographers and dancers generate dance material. Simoneau works in a task-based process where the dancers are active collaborators. These task were shared with the community through master classes and workshops. The goal was to give the participant an inside view into how dance artists make decisions and how Simoneau directs the dancers involved in her creations.