ABOUT2018-09-11T18:49:14+00:00

About Susanne

Dancer, teacher, choreographer & coach

Susanne Bentley (NZ/BE) is a contemporary dancer, improvisor, teacher, coach and choreographer. She has been working with others and on her own projects in New Zealand and Europe since 1996. In NZ she worked with companies such as Touch Compass, Opera NZ and Weta Productions (Peter Jackson- film), and was a founding member of Curve Dance Collective. In 2000 she was a danceWEB scholarship holder at ImPulsTanz (Vienna). Since then she has performed with companies such as Superamas, Cie. Fabienne Berger, Les Ballets C de la B, Maria Clara Villa Lobos, Poni, Bal Moderne a.o.

She has created her own works, often solo, since 1994, either choreographed or improvised. From 2002 – 2009 she made music and performances with electronic musician Peter Van Hoesen as Bent Object. She is also a founding member of SoloConversations Dance Collective, performing improvised pieces since 2007. She established the non-profit organisation Expansive Being in 2012, dedicated to encouraging, supporting and promoting artistic expression in all its forms.

Susanne teaches contemporary dance and performance improvisation for companies, universities, schools and studios such as: Ultima Vez, Charleroi Danses, Danscentrum Jette (Brussels), Tanzquartier & ImPulsTanz (Vienna), Tanzfabrik & Marameo (Berlin), Isadora Festival (Krasnoyarsk, Siberia), Artesis Conservatory (Antwerp), Fontys Academy (Tilburg), University of Waikato & Otago University (NZ). She also taught pole dance for Sarahcademy 2013-17 and was an organiser, choreographer and presenter for Pole Fusion Festival (artistic pole).

Susanne is an ICF ACC accredited life coach with Consciousness Coaching, and also offers individual body-based artistic coaching/mentoring for all levels of arts experience.

For a more detailed bio see The Full Story below, or CV download.

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The way I work

Crafting the performative present… using languages of movement, words & sound.

In my craft or artistic production… I am inspired by and use sound and rhythm heavily in my performances and daily life. I love bass frequencies, but also play the ukulele. I have researched the biological effects of infrasound, and am constantly exploring the impact of movement on the voice and vice versa.

The written and spoken word are very important in my work, attached to movement or otherwise. I believe in the power of the human voice. I write lyrics, prose and poetry when the inspiration hits.

I like to immerse audiences in an experience as well as making frontal performances. I often bring performance to public spaces, and environments other than theatre stages. I enjoy sharing dance with the general public, including encouraging participation by people from all walks of life eg. Bal Moderne, Touch Compass Dance Trust.

I am also a very visual person: I engage actively when watching performances and have developed my outside eye and feedback skills extensively. I am very aware of my own aesthetics and believe I can help others to develop theirs.

Passion : expression : creation

As a teacher & artistic coach… I am interested in facilitating others’ learning- guiding personal growth rather than imprinting people with my stamp. I want to share the joy of personal expression through movement and performance with everyone, from beginners to professionals. Having fun and creating a positive, supportive environment are two of the most important factors in my classes.

My classes are carefully structured to warm, inspire movement and give tools to participants according to the demands of the work. Because of my improvisational skills I can easily change approach if something is not working, or new information needs to be given.

My courses are tailor-made: I aim to give what I see is necessary to a group or individual- whether it’s acting students, amateurs or professional dancers. I often use a coaching approach, questioning a lot to promote thinking movers rather than copycats. I give personal feedback and take care that everyone is integrated into the group.

Serious dancing, oh yeah! Serious fun…serious play

The full story

Susanne Bentley (NZ/BE) is a contemporary dancer, improvisor, teacher, coach (life coaching & artistic) and choreographer. She has been working with others and on her own projects in New Zealand and Europe since 1996. In NZ she worked with companies such as Touch Compass, Opera NZ and Weta Productions (Peter Jackson- film), and was a founding member of Curve Dance Collective. In 2000 she was a danceWEB scholarship holder at ImPulsTanz (Vienna). Since then she has performed with European companies such as the Superamas (AT), Cie. Fabienne Berger (CH), Les Ballets C de la B, Maria Clara Villa Lobos, Heine Avdal/Foton, Poni (BE) a.o.

Susanne has always created her own works, often solo and site-specific, either choreographed or improvised. Someone Else’s Weirdo was performed extensively in NZ in 2000, then reworked to appear in the Festival C’est Du Jamais Vu in Brussels in 2002. Téléphonez moi premiered in 2003, Roasted Addiction in Nov/Dec 2004, Body Rhymes (improvised spoken word poetry & dance) was performed in the Koninklijke Musee voor Schone Kunsten Antwerp in 2013, Tipperary Dance Platform 2013, Toronto Long Winter 2014, ImproXchange Festival 2014, Berlin and Performing Poetry, Brussels. Being debuted at Isadora Festival 2016, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

From 2002 – 2009 she made music and performances with electronic musician Peter Van Hoesen as Bent Object. Together they released a music dvd In human format, with visuals by FoAM in 2006. This they also performed live in Montreal, Amsterdam, Sperlonga and Brussels. In 2007 they premiered Winning…, a dance theatre performance using sensor technology, co-produced by Buda Kunstencentrum. In 2008-9 they created Below 20 supported by Workspace Brussels, Netwerk, Vooruit, Stuk & Pianofabriek. This piece was an immersive environment performance, using infrasound. Susanne reworked this material later under the title Unknown Unknowns I & II.

In 2007 she founded a Brussels-based performance improvisation research group which became SoloConversations Dance Collective. This group practiced and performed improvised pieces in festivals, onstage and in public spaces in Belgium and internationally until 2017, including evening length works Evolve (2013) and The Grave is Yawning (2016).

Susanne has also been performing and teaching regularly since 2002 throughout Europe for Bal Moderne & with Ik en den Théo. She established the non-profit organisation Expansive Being in 2012, dedicated to encouraging, supporting and promoting artistic expression in all its forms.

Susanne became addicted to pole dance after coaching 4x Belgian champion & world finalist (ranked 11th) Sarah Cavenaile. She also taught pole dance for Sarahcademy 2013-17, choreographing pole show girl routines as well as combining contemporary dance with the pole for Sarahcademy and ImPulsTanz Festival. She debuted as a pole show girl in at Brussels Pride Festival in May 2014, choreographing and performing in the shows ‘Searching for love’, and InHuman as well as MCing and organising the Pole Fusion Festival (artistic pole) from 2014 – 2016.

Susanne has been teaching professional and amateur contemporary/improvisation classes and workshops regularly since 2002 in studios, festivals, for schools and for companies such as: Ultima Vez, Charleroi Danses, Danscentrum Jette (Brussels), Tanzquartier & ImPulsTanz (Vienna), Tanzfabrik & Marameo (Berlin), Isadora Festival (Krasnoyarsk, Siberia), Artesis Conservatory (Antwerp), Fontys Academy (Tilburg), University of Waikato & Otago University (NZ).

Susanne is an International Coaching Federation ACC accredited life coach with Consciousness Coaching, and also offers individual body-based artistic coaching/mentoring for all levels of arts experience (eg. for Sarah Cavenaile, Maria Clara Villa Lobos, Jordi Vidal).

Alongside all this, she and her partner are parents of twins Alex & Lila born in February 2017.

Photo Credits: 1. Olga Simakova, 2. Serge Gutwirth