Susanne Bentley (NZ/BE) has been a freelance contemporary dancer/improvisor, working with others and on her own projects in NZ 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 received a DanceWEB scholarship for Impulstanz in Vienna. Since then she has performed with companies in Austria (Superamas, Cy.ancal), Switzerland (Cie. Fabienne Berger, Nikunja), Hungary (Two in One) and Belgium (Les Ballets C de la B, Maria Clara Villa Lobos, Random Scream, Poni, Pierre Rubio, Heine Avdal, Lenio Kaklea).

Susanne has always created her own works- 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. The improvised solo Téléphonez moi premiered in 2003 and Roasted Addiction was performed in Nov/Dec 2004 in Brussels in several venues.

From 2002-9 she performed with electronic musician and audiovisual artist Peter Van Hoesen as the duo Bent Object. Together they released a single The language you need on Swedish label Sound of Habib, and In Human Format, a music dvd with visuals by FoAM, on Brussels label Foton. 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, about the culture of fear. Susanne is continuing to rework this material 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 practices and performs regularly in festivals, onstage and in public spaces in Belgium and internationally. She also performs and teaches regularly throughout Europe for Bal Moderne.

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: Wim Vandekybus/Ultima Vez, La Raffinerie/Charleroi Danses, Danscentrum Jette, Espace Catastrophe, PARTS and Summer Studios (Brussels); Tanzfabrik & Dock 11 (Berlin), Impulstanz Festival & Tanzquartier (Vienna), K3 (Hamburg); Center of Contemporary Dance Summer School (Krasnoyarsk, Siberia); Dansstudio Arabesque (Antwerp), Wisper (Ghent/Leuven)… She has also taught for companies and universities in New Zealand such as University of Otago, UNITEC School of Performing & Screen Arts, Douglas Wright Dance Co.


Photo: Serge Gutwirth
rehearsals with SoloConversations Dance Collective – Nov 2012