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Helen Simoneau Receives 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship


Simoneau is part of a diverse group of 184 artists, writers, scholars, and scientists in this year's fellowship class.

Helen Simoneau Receives 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship

The Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation approved the awarding of a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship to choreographer Helen Simoneau, who serves as artistic director of Helen Simoneau Dance. Chosen through a rigorous peer-review process from almost 3,000 applicants, Simoneau is part of a diverse group of 184 artists, writers, scholars, and scientists in this year's fellowship class.

Originally from Rimouski, Quebec, Simoneau has been described as "a Choreographer-on-the-rise" by Dance Magazineand creates work that exists at the intersection of intent and impact. Simoneau's work has been presented around the world, from Greece to Germany, and she has been commissioned by various institutions, including The Juilliard School, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the American Dance Festival. Upcoming projects include a commission for BalletX and a new piece for Helen Simoneau Danse titled Delicate Power. Delicate Power begins in-person rehearsals in August 2021.

Created in 1925 by Senator Simon and Olga Guggenheim in memory of their son John Simon Guggenheim, the Foundation has offered fellowships to exceptional individuals in pursuit of scholarship in any field of knowledge and creation in any art form, under the freest possible conditions.

"This is a huge recognition of my cumulative career, and it feels incredible," said Simoneau. "I am so honored and grateful. My gratitude goes out to all my past and present Collaborators, Board Members, and Supporters."

"I am thrilled to announce this new group of Guggenheim Fellows," said Edward Hirsch, President of the Foundation, "especially since this has been a devastating year in so many ways. A Guggenheim Fellowship has always been meaningful, but this year we know it will be a lifeline for many of the new Fellows at a time of great hardship, a survival tool as well as a creative one. The work supported by the Fellowship will help us understand more deeply what we are enduring individually and collectively, and it is an honor for the Foundation to help the Fellows do what they were meant to do."

About Helen Simoneau

Helen Simoneau, originally from Rimouski, Québec, is the artistic director and choreographer of Helen Simoneau Danse. Described as "a Choreographer-on-the-rise" by Dance Magazine, Simoneau creates work that exists at the intersection of intent and impact. Her commissions include The Juilliard School, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the American Dance Festival, BalletX, UNC School of the Arts, The Yard, Springboard Danse Montréal, The Ailey School, the University of the Arts (PA), and the Swiss International Coaching Project (SiWiC) in Zurich. Simoneau was a resident artist at Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYU/Tisch, Bates Dance Festival, New York Dance Lab, The National Choreographic Center in Akron, the University of Buffalo via the Creative Arts Initiative, and has received fellowships from The NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts, the Bogliasco Foundation, Ailey's New Directions Choreography Lab, and twice from the North Carolina Arts Council. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally at 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), Athens International Dance Festival (Greece), and the Shanghai Dance Festival (China). Simoneau was awarded 1st place for Choreography at the Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany. Simoneau is currently a Choreography Fellow at New York City Center.

Contributions by friends, Trustees, and former Fellows are supporting the following Fellowships:

  • The Fellowship in Fine Arts for the painter Peter B. Williams is underwritten by Robert De Niro in honor of his father Robert De Niro, Sr., a painter and a Guggenheim Fellow in 1968;

  • Ian Frazier's Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction is underwritten by Wendy Belzberg and Strauss Zelnick in honor of the writer Stacy Schiff, a Guggenheim Fellow in 1996;

  • Art historian Marisa Anne Bass of Yale University has received the inaugural Fellowship in Early Modern Studies, underwritten through gifts by five former Fellows;

  • The Fellowship in Constitutional Studies, to be held by Amalia D. Kessler of Stanford University, is underwritten by the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation;

  • A Fellowship in Engineering for engineer and biomedical scientist John A. Rogers of Northwestern University is underwritten by Anthony Roberts;

  • The estate of Philip Roth, a Fellow in 1959, provides partial support for writers.

  • Fellows in the creative arts are partially supported by the Joel Conarroe Fund, named for the former President of the Foundation who was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1977.

The great range of backgrounds, fields of study, and accomplishments of Guggenheim Fellows is a unique characteristic of the Fellowship program. In all, 49 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 73 different academic institutions, 28 states and 2 Canadian provinces are represented in this year's class of Fellows, who range in age from 31 to 85. Close to 60 Fellows have no full-time college or university affiliation. Since its establishment in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted nearly $400 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals, among whom are more than 125 Nobel laureates, members of all the national academies, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, Turing Award, Bancroft Prize, National Book Award, and other internationally recognized honors.

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