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Photos by Uche Iroegbu

October 21-23, 2016

Skin(s) shares the beauty and diversity of how Native people identify and examines the contradictions, pride, joy, pain, and sorrow that arise out of our many dimensions of identity. Skin(s) is a dance work, a visual arts exhibit, a film, and a web media project. Skin(s) is a continually-evolving project in which community and audience inform how Skin(s) takes shape from one city to another. From 2016 through 2017, Skin(s) is being developed in three regions: the Twin Cities, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Chicago metropolitan area. 

The Skin(s) dance explores what we hold, reveal, and perceive through our skin. The dance is housed within a paper environment with a surround sound score and moving images. To create the Skin(s) dance production, director Rosy Simas is joined by her main collaborator French composer François Richomme, poet Heid E. Erdrich, lighting designer Valerie Oliveiro, and performers  Jessika Akpaka, Holo Lue Choy, Elizabeth Herrmann, Camille Horstmann, Daonna Lewis, Allison Martinez, Margaret Ogas, Sharon Picasso, Lela Pierceand Taja Will. Simas has created moving images from her travels to urban and rural Native communities. These moving images also feature the cinematography of filmmaker Elizabeth Day whose film Skin(s) is featured in the exhibit. 

The Skin(s) film by Elizabeth Day and Heid E. Erdrich celebrates urban Native identity, post-relocation in Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area and the Twin Cities. The film premiered in the Skin(s) exhibit at Intermedia Arts.

To find out more information about the Skin(s) project and Rosy Simas Danse please visit

The Catalyst Series is a platform for transformative, socially engaged new work. Through performing, media, and visual arts, the Catalyst Series sparks lasting dialogue in provocative and visionary ways, showcasing work by today’s emerging and vangaurd artists. The series offers a pathway for traditionally underrepresented artists, emerging local changemakers, and projects that ignite innovation.


The presentation of Skin(s) was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Skin(s) is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Intermedia Arts in partnership with La Peña Cultural Center, Eastside Arts Alliance, Rosy Simas Danse, and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information:

Skin(s) is supported by a 2015 Guggenheim Creative Arts Fellowship for Choreography awarded to Rosy Simas. Simas is also a fiscal year 2016 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Skin(s) is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a Minnesota State legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
François Richomme appears via a partnership with Association Artefactdanse, Montpellier, France.

Rosy Simas is a artist in residence working with the students at the University of Minnesota’s Dance Program through the Sage Cowles Land Grant. Some of these students appear in Skin(s).