Helen Simoneau Danse Celebrates Five Years in Winston-Salem

by Dani Vanderboegh

For athree-day showing this week, Helen Simoneau Danse returns for the fifth annualseason in the Winston-Salem Hanesbrands Theatre at the Milton Rhodes ArtsCenter.

After threedays of performance in Winston-Salem the company will move on to Charlotte andthen to Washington D.C., but not before an exciting contemporary dance program featuringthe works of Québécois choreographer Helen Simoneau, whose works have been presentedin North America, Europe, South America and Asia. This year’s program willinclude four North Carolina premieres.

Thecompany, composed of New York- and North Carolina-based dancers, has been inresidence for the past month at the University of North Carolina School of theArts rehearsing the 75-minute program. While at UNSCA Simoneau has developed anew quartet titled “The Task of Doing.” Developed with an originalscore by composer Eric Schwartz, the piece examines the roles we take withothers to fit in and stand out.

Simoneaucreated her most recent work while on residence in Italy in 2013. According tothe show’s press release, “Her Québécois heritage provides soulful anchors tothis work as she delves into issues of assimilation, identity and the willingerasure of the self.”

Simoneaualso created a duet for company members Ariel Freedman and Kayla Farrish, whichis set to the music of long time collaborators Michael Wall and Andy Hasenpflugand echoes her work in the 2014 “Moonlight Parade.”

Somethingnew this season is an original work created by a company member rather thanSimoneau. Kristin Taylor will present her newest work, inspired by journalentries from her travels. It will be accompanied by an original compositionfrom vocalist, cellist and composer Shana Tucker.

“It’s adynamic show “”it’s amazing. I would say it’s the best one yet,” said presscontact, Marcus White. “It’s definitelysomething to go see.” White also said tickets are moving fast, so don’t missyour chance.

The concertwill be held March 4-6, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $12 (student) to $40(benefit); they available at, by calling 336-747-1414or visiting the box office located at 209 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem.