works

hum Shudder photo 1Shudder (2010)
Choreographed and performed by Susanna Hood
with performers Alanna Kraajeveld and Danny Wild
Directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones
Music by Nilan Perera
Lighting by Rebecca Picherack
Running time: 55 minutes

Three figures – witnessed and witnessing – are bound, blurred and melded together to reveal a portrait of a dismantled family, its pigments violently peeled away and reapplied. Toronto choreographer Susanna Hood dreams the canvases of Francis Bacon to life. Shudder forges, with three performers, a work of missed connections that evokes sensuality, brutality and loneliness. Theirs is a grotesquely beautiful and disarmingly intimate encounter.

Shudder is ground-breaking in the field of Canadian dance by riding a vibrant and volatile line between narrative and abstraction. Hood digs deeply into the emotional and kinetically textural world beneath the surface of movement, much like the violent underworld brought to light in Bacon’s canvasses. Three twisted shaped casts an unsettling impression of a family in decay, sliding in and out of one another, devouring and devoured. It is Hood’s most impressive and gripping work, an experience not to me missed – particularly for fans of Francis Bacon.

Shudder premièred at Théâtre Lachapelle, Montréal, in April 2010, followed by a two-week run at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, in May 2010


The Frying Pan’s Too Wide (2011)
hum FP for website
Improvisations by Susanna Hood and Sarah Bild: “This piece is about our working relationship. Every performance is a meeting place where we reveal and confront what we don’t know, side by side and face to face. No two performances are alike. Though our friendship and the many hours we’ve worked together have fostered familiarity, we can never predict exactly what will happen. You’re invited into this discovery with us. There is no big agenda to be deciphered, no abstract theme that you need to understand.” — SH & SB

Chaque performance de cette pièce est un premier rendez-vous; un moment unique avec les danseuses, chorégraphes, et improvisatrices Susanna Hood et Sarah Bild. Leur rencontre artistique est un fabuleux voyage à travers le doute, le questionnement et la découverte; un lieu dans lequel les deux créatrices pénètrent pour aller autant à la rencontre de l’autre que de soi-même.

« En actions-réactions, ces deux créatrices font résonner leurs expériences, leur savoir-faire, leurs  différences physiques, toujours en complicité. Le propos est ludique, construit autour d’une  attraction/répulsion qui va du baiser à la dispute, du rapprochement à l’éloignement, de la fusion au rejet, et traversé d’interactions verbales, dialogues, monologue, chansons. »
–Aline Apostolska, La Presse


hum SGA photo 1She’s gone away (2006)
Choreographer, co-composer and performer: Susanna Hood
Co-composer and performer: Nilan Perera
Director: Jennnifer Tarver
Length of Piece: 55 minutes

She’s gone away a one-woman performance piece conceived and created by Susanna Hood with co-composer Nilan Perera and director Jennifer Tarver. As the third in a series of works using dream and memory to touch on themes of sexuality, female power, healing, and loss of innocence, She’s gone away is spoken through the combined language of movement, song, poetic text, instrumental music, and visual design.

A moment of sexual suspension, caught in mid-flight, a woman in the fragmented home of her mind battles to stay in her body. She spins us through a continuous cycle of animal states that simultaneously provide both the escape from and the clues back to her integrated self. This highly charged physical and emotional journey throws us into the depths of voracity, bravado, dread, despair, and release.

She’s gone away premièred in Toronto at the Theatre Centre in April 2006. It was remounted at Théâtre LaChapelle in Montréal in October 2008

“She’s Gone Away is superb…Hood is simply sublime in her portayal of a woman struggling to find herself.”
Paula Citron, Classical 96.3 FM


She’s gone away (Elle s’est en allée)sga4 Création mondiale : avril 2006, Toronto
Durée : 60 minutes
Chorégraphe/co-compositrice/interprète : Susanna Hood
Co-compositeur/musicien : Nilan Perera
Mise en scène : Jennifer Tarver
Éclairages : Rebecca Picherack
Scénographie : Lorenzo Savoini
Costumes : Heather MacCrimmon
Oeil extérieur : Marie-Josée Chartier

Conçue et créée par Susanna Hood avec le co-compositeur Nilan Perera et la metteure en scène Jennifer Tarver, She’s gone away est le tout dernier spectacle solo de la compagnie. Troisième d’une série d’œuvres abordant les thèmes de la sexualité, du pouvoir féminin, de la guérison et de la perte de l’innocence à travers le rêve et le souvenir, She’s gone away se décline dans les langues du mouvement, de la chanson, du texte poétique, de la musique instrumentale et de la conception visuelle.

Dans un moment de suspension sexuelle saisi en plein vol, une femme aux prises avec la fragmentation de son esprit lutte pour ne pas sortir de son corps. Elle nous entraîne dans un tourbillon continu d’états animaux qui lui permettent à la fois de s’évader de son moi essentiel et d’y revenir. Ce voyage dans l’intensité de l’univers corporel et émotif nous entraîne dans les profondeurs de la voracité, de la bravade, de l’effroi, du désespoir et de la délivrance.

« Hood est simplement sublime dans le rôle d’une femme à la recherche d’elle-même. » – Classical 96.3 FM


s7Waking en-dessous (2004)
Choreographed and performed by Susanna Hood
Music by Nilan Perera
Lighting by Rebecca Picherack

With musical collaborator Nilan Perera and lighting designer Rebecca Picherack, Susanna Hood fuses a dynamic and visceral vocabulary of voice, movement, text, and light to explore the shifting relationship between two people, a person and space, and the present and past. The work is best described as the poetry of movement, language and music, a poem based on the states of presence and absence, the voyage from one to the other, and the threshold in between. When you are in two places at once? Where are you? Anywhere?

The movement vocabulary of this 20-minute piece juxtaposes an angular and sharp precision that vibrates and tears through a confined space, with rugged animal sensuality that slithers across the floor. The music is developed live by the manipulation of Susanna’s voice through the signal from a wireless microphone. The palette of sound includes speech and song, the manipulation of inanimate objects in the space, as well as the sound of Susanna’s body moving against surfaces in the performancearea. Interwoven with Susanna’s own text, the piece contains text and melodic fragments from “Every time we say goodbye” by Cole Porter, and text fragments from “East Coker” from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.

Rooted in the kinetic and aural rhythms of the piece, the lighting design moves the viewer through a striking and surprising duet between white light and total darkness. The piece is thus a collage of images set rhythmically to evoke and provoke a resonant emotional experience.

Waking en-dessous was premiered in Toronto in March 2004 and continues to travel throughout Canada as part of the company’s repertoire.


aSTILLastill (2000; reworked 2004)
Choreographed and performed by Susanna Hood
Music by Nilan Perera
Lighting Design by Rebecca Picherack

An emotionally charged 40-minute solo by and for Susanna Hood, still takes you on a journey through an infernal landscape of dream and memory, at one moment plummeting into darkness, the next blossoming into light. Together with musical collaborator Nilan Perera, Susanna mines the full potential of the body as an instrument, seamlessly interweaving voice and movement to communicate on a powerfully visceral level.

The choreographic and compositional form of the piece stem from three years of creative research into colour. Its thematic structure draws on both a recurring dream/nightmare and traumatic childhood memory of sexual abuse. T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets and Dante’s “Inferno” also inspire elements of the piece. Susanna’s roles in the performance are choreographer, dancer, vocalist and co-composer with fellow musician Nilan Perera. She wears a wireless microphone that amplifies an ongoing vocal performance and the ambient sounds of her movement, which Nilan manipulates through various effect pedals. The vocabulary is an equal blend of sonic and kinetic gestures and phrases as she moves through a landscape of light and shadow.

As the company’s first landmark work, still is a strong example of Susanna’s artistic vision: delving into the spaces between existing forms to shed light on new forms of expression, and putting these new forms to use in a multi-sensory, highly visceral performance work.
The original production in November 2000 received an overwhelmingly positive critical response, from the press, the duo’s artistic peers, and a very broad audience base that extended beyond the typical dance audience to theatre-goers, architecture patrons and electronic and new music fans. Both past and present audience members continue to speak of its impact.

In the winter of 2004, the piece was reworked into its current incarnation, stripped down to it’s most essential elements of movement and sound with a new lighting design by Rebecca Picherack. It was then presented in Toronto, Montreal at Tangente and in Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge Festival. It remains as part of the company’s touring repertoire.

“a must see event – as precious, as rare, as that proverbial pot of gold… a dance work reflecting the dazzling prism of her jewel-like soul.” (The Globe & Mail)

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