Blok & Steel

 Blok & Steel

 Suzy Blok (Dutch/Argentinian) and Christopher Steel (British) formed a choreographic duo based in Amsterdam from 1989 until 1999, creating their individual brand of movement and theatre and developing their unique style of highly physical and dynamic dance theatre. They were inspired by themes related to society and the interaction between people: their shortcomings, their obsessions and their personal fascinations. It was Satori (1990) which laid the foundation for their specific style of movement: modern dance combined with partner work and balance orientated acrobatics, in which decor and costumes were used physically in a multi-disciplinary approach.

Although the overall style is recognisable throughout their works, each performance was approached from a different angle, using varied processes to create the final movement material and to establish the theatrical ideas. The specific theme of each work dictating the choreographic process.

They often collaborated with composers and (live) musicians in their constant search for new forms and structures. The choice and use of music varied throughout their collaboration since 1989; from the use of existing composition to specially written scores, sometimes using the music as basis, sometimes taking the movement as the initial inspiration. Among others they have worked with Alexander Balanescu, Louis Andriessen, Stefan van Campenhout, Poodle Naked and Morzelpronk.

 They tried never to repeat an idea or method of creating and to continue the search for original and challenging methods of choreographing. Using the individual personality of their performers was a very important part of this process. The space and possibility for improvisation was essential for their form of dance theatre and lead to a personal and intimate performance atmosphere.

Blok & Steel’s choreographies have been performed in Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Yugoslavia (Zagreb), Canada and Mexico.

 Blok & Steel are award winners. “…Is still a rose” was the winner of the concours Pepinieres Europeennes pour Jeunes Artistes. Angelless was nominated for the Phillip Morris ‘Finest Selection’ prize and was selected as “Choice of the Rotterdam Theatre” in 1993.

 The International Music Centre IMZ and the Opera de Lyon awarded them the Best Camera Rework for the film Still You (1993). The jury citation reads: The film is a tempest in a teacup. It invites you to glide through its dramatic journey with an extraordinary display of cinematic acrobatic – a tour de force.


 Press quotes:

Blok & Steel present the lost paradise… evening with five friends gets out of hand. Solo’s, duets and group formations alternate quickly or take place simultaneously as in a circus with multiple rings. The dancers bodies jump over each other like dolphins in the oceans. Blok & Steel have achieved depth and clarity in their work. Dark Horses is the most disarming performance I have seen until now. (Caroline Willems – NRC Handelsblad – translation)

Blok & Steel make dance theatre that deals with this day and age, and as such is appealing. (Gerdie Snellers/Volkskrant – translation)

 Their dance has meaning, dealing with sex and power, men and women. Their language is rough and romantic, serious and funny, experienced and naive.

(Isabella Lanz/Trouw – translation)

 …the dance is sharp, energetic and thrillingly well performed. (Mary Brennan, Scotland)

 Stereotypes and dancing traditions are made fun of in a playful way, contributing to the very personal movement vocabulary of the duo.

(Gerdie Snellers/Volkskrant- translation)

Suzy Blok & Christopher Steel are excellent interpreters of a brilliant piece of dance-theatre.

(Ballet International, Germany)

Christopher Steel passed away in March 2013.