Born in Bogota, Colombia from Dutch Argentinean parents Suzy lived in several Central and South-American countries where she began her dance studies. She moved to Holland at the age of fourteen where she finished her dance degree in 1985 at the Theaterschool in Amsterdam specializing in modern dance. In 1985 she was one of the founding members of the collective: Glashart. As a dancer, Suzy Blok worked together with many different choreographers theatre-makers including Michael Clark, Stichting Dansproduktie [Dance Production Foundation], Onafhankelijk Toneel [Independent Theatre], Tamara Huilmand and Shusaku Takeuchi Dormu Dance Theatre.
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Style and artistic vision
Suzy Blok’s choreographies are highly dynamic. Her work is a combination of dance and physical theatre. Her style is characterised by the contrast between fast, energetic and explosive movement, and more solemn, sensitive and subtle movements. The collaboration with the performers is important in the making process and the material evolves from dialogue and improvisation. In this process the personal characters and talents of the performers are used to the extreme and form the chore of the work alongside the concept. People’s characters, individual qualities, emotions and often conflicting desires as well as society related topics are Suzy Blok’s main sources of inspiration. The use of music is always important in her work and she often collaborates with composers and live musicians, varying from Louis Andriessen (SAMO) to hiphop group Poodle Naked (Anybody), Alexander Balanescu (Looking Up at Down) and Krista Vincent (Paradox of Desire).
She began creating her own choreographies in 1986: Ida (Glashart), Lying Flying (1989) and Still You (1991). She then worked together with Christopher Steel under the name Blok&Steel. The unique performances Satori (1990), (Breaking) The Back Of Love (1992), Angelless (1993), Dark Horses (1994), Anybody (1997) and SAMO (1998) were created during that period. Their work was presented at international festivals and Blok&Steel were invited to choreographe in France, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and England. Since 1999, Suzy Blok developed further as an independent choreographer working under her own name and making productions in which she collaborated with composers, live musicians, designers, theatre-directors and video-artists. Performances in this period include: Looking Up at Down (2002), the duet programme Still You 2 Stranger Than Kindness (2004), the dance-theatre production Paradox of Desire (2005, co-production with Theatercompagnie) and more recently the duet Me Entrego=I Surrender (2007). She has received several awards for her work, including the Prix de Pépinières Européennes pour Jeunes Artistes and the IMZ Dance Screen Award, and has been nominated for the Philip Morris Finest Selection Award. In the season 20062007 Suzy received a scholarship from the Arts Council of Performing Arts enabling her to expand on several facets in her career. The Netherlands American dance & theatre project enabled her to travel to Portland and Seattle in 20062007.
Besides dance performances, Suzy Blok has also made dance films, including Still you (7’ NOS/Springdance/Bergen 1993), Tus Ojos Negros (10’/BBC/NPS 2000) and the longer dance film Up at Down (28’ BBC/NPS/Satori 2003), a film adaptation of the theatre production Looking Up at Down. She made this film together with director Clara van Gool. In addition, she choreographed the dance scenes in the feature film Ja zuster, Nee zuster [Yes Nurse! No Nurse!] (directed by: Pieter Kramer, Bos Bros 2002). In 2004, she created the choreography for Clara van Gool’s short film Reimerswaal.
Apart from creating productions under her own name she also works as a free-lance choreographer, collaborating with theatre companies like Orkater, Theatre Espace, De Theatercompagnie and film (Ja Zuster Nee Zuster). In 2008 she will make the dance scenes for the television serial Annie M.G., based on the life and work of the famous Dutch artist Annie M.G. Schmidt.
Since 2007 Suzy is the artistic director of “I Like To Watch Too”: an event involving dance performances, video, installations and other connected disciplines at the Paradiso in Amsterdam as part of the Julidans Festival.
Teacher | coaching
Workshops and classes (technique and composition) at Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers, Amsterdamse Hoge school voor de kunsten, Codarts Rotterdam, ArtEZ Arnhem, Dance Theatre of Ireland, workshops at several universities in Great-Britain, Bogota, Colombia, and others. In 2008 Suzy will begin working as a dance coach for starting choreographers at Danswerkplaats Amsterdam.