Simone Ferro (Choreographer)
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Simone Ferro joined the faculty at University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee (UWM) in the fall of 2001. She most recently choreographed original works for Foothold Dance Performance in Milwaukee, Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA, Ballet Quad Cities, IL and Bucknell Dance Company in Lewisburg, PA and collaborated with local companies such as Wild Space Dance Company and Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukee. Simone was awarded an MFA in choreography from the University of Iowa Department of Dance, for which she received a graduate fellowship. She is a certified Pilates instructor by Stott Conditioning from Canada. She obtained a Solo Seal degree from the Royal Academy of Dancing of London and has had an extensive professional career with numerous internationally known dance companies in Brazil and Switzerland. She performed with and managed the Alias Dance Company based in Geneva, and for six years, she was soloist with the prestigious company of Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève.
In Brazil, her work was recognized through performances as principal dancer with Ballet of Rio de Janeiro, Bale da Cidade de São Paulo, and Grupo de Dança Cisne Negro. In 2003, Simone was recipient of a UWM Graduate School Research Grant for her work called "What's Her Name? Never Mind…" which she produced in 2004 in collaboration with pianist Lois Svard and guest dancer Michele Kriner. Since then, she has been collaborating with not only UWM dance faculty and students but also with music alumni, such as composer Josh Schmidt. In December that year, Simone was awarded a Choreographic Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board and in 2005 she produced a new work in collaboration with the poet and UW-Whitewater Professor DeWitt Clinton, performed by several UWM dance alumni and with UWM Music Professors Bernard Zinck, Elena Abend and Ana Bermudez. In 2006, she premiered a new work to the Milwaukee Ballet Company under the artistic direction of Michael Pink. In the fall 2006, Simone was awarded an Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award by the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Her recent collaborative works involve visual artist Marie Mellott and composer Yehuda Yannay for the dance production of " Geometry of Aloneness" and with theatre director Rebecca Holderness for the world premier of the production of "Ghost". In the fall 2007 Simone produced her new show Simone Ferro & Friends in collaboration with Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukee. In the spring 2008, Simone collaborated with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre for the world premiere of "The Night is a Child" by Charles Randolph Wright. Her current research involves Brazilian folk festivals and dramatic dances and during the summer 2008 she led a group of University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee students to experience African influences on popular folk dances in the northeast of Brazil.
On Sabbatical leave during the fall 2008, Simone spent six months in her native Brazil developing her research, teaching dance technique in some of the major companies in the São Paulo and choreographing at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) for which she received the support of the FAPESP (Fundacao de Apoio a Pesquisa em São Paulo). In the year 2009/2010, Simone's research will see three new phases. The first one was presented at Danceworks Studio Theatre at the end of October 2009, at the occasion of Simone Ferro and Friends II concert. In the Winterdances and Summerdances 2010, as part of Peck School of the Arts year-long focus on the Art of Africa and the African Diaspora, she will create two new works with the support of a UWM Research Growth Initiative grant.