Since 2010, Ton Simons (1948, Swalmen, Limburg) has been a freelance choreographer, following his years as artistic director of Dance Works Rotterdam (2001 – 2010) and its forerunner De Rotterdamse Dansgroep (1999-2001).
In 1966 and 1967, Simons studied Medicine at Radboud University in Nijmegen, and trained as a sculptor at the Academy of Fine Arts St. Joost in Breda from 1968 to 1971. In that period, he took his first dancing lessons at the Margriet Franken Dance Studio in Breda.
He then decided to go on to train at the Rotterdam Dance Academy, under the leadership of Lucas Hoving, from 1971 to 1974. His dance training led to a contract with Käthy Gosschalk's Werkcentrum Dans, the forerunner of De Rotterdamse Dansgroep.
In 1978, Simons became a freelance dancer and choreographer in New York City, where he directed his own company, Ton Simons and Dancers, from 1982 to 1996. During this period, he continued to create works as a regular guest choreographer with Werkcentrum Dans / De Rotterdamse Dansgroep.
Between 1996 and 1999, he worked as a freelance choreographer in New York City, while still continuing his association with De Rotterdamse Dansgroep as a regular guest choreographer.
Simons has worked frequently with composers and musicians, including Louis Andriessen, Manuel Araujo, Michael Brown, Gerald Busby, Wayne Marshall, Horst Rickels, Eliott Sharp, Matthew Shipp, Reitze Smits, Moniek Toebosch, Michel Waisvisz and Harry de Wit, and the ensembles ASKO Ensemble, Hans Dulfer en de Perikels, Ives Ensemble, Slagwerkgroep Amsterdam, Test Dept., The Ordinaires and the Storioni Trio. He has also worked with leading visual artists and designers, such as Roe Aldarada, Charles Atlas, Simon Costin, David Feldman, William Katz, Kees Knegjes, Mark Lancaster, Kees van Leeuwen, Andrew Lord, Edith Ordelman and Peter Struycken.
Ton Simons has received many awards and prizes for his work, including the Merit Award from Stichting Dansersfonds '79 (2004), the Sonia Gaskell Award from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (1997), the Choreographer's Fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts, US (1992 and 1993), the Individual Artist's Fellowship from The New York Foundation for the Arts, New York City (1991), the Dutch Choreography Award from the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD) (1990), a Scholarship from the Merce Cunningham Studio, New York City (1978 – 1981), a Scholarship from the Merce Cunningham Studio, New York City (1974 – 1975) and a Foreign Study Grant from the Rotterdam Art Foundation (1974 – 1975).