2024-03-26
 
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Susanna Hood

The Muted Note - "The Understatement"

Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal-based performer, maker and educator in both dance and music, Susanna Hood has devoted her career to synthesizing voice and movement, creating intimate and sensual performances in both dance-theatre and improvised music contexts. Founder and former artistic director of interdisciplinary performance company hum dansoundart (2000-2013) her work has been marked by significant collaborations with musical artists Nilan Perera (improvisational duo dialogues; and choreographic musical works still, She’s gone away, Shudder), John Oswald (Spinvolver), and Scott Thomson (as band member of The Rent – repertoire by Steve Lacy – and The Disguises; and as co-creator/performer of The Muted Note – songs and dances setting the poetry of P.K. Page).

Throughout her career as a creator, and particularly in the last decade, she has sought a total integration of the dance and music aspects of her practice, influenced by her internal, holistic experience of moving, sounding, and listening. Something she refers to as embodied music: the experience of movement as music and of sound/music as movement, where the two forms, in dialogue, remain simultaneously distinct and interchangeable, to create a listener/viewer experience that blurs the lines between what is heard and what is seen. In support of this interest, she pursued post-graduate research in the Research Studios at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, Belgium (2015/2016) with the program’s emphasis on synergistic relations between dance and music. Her most recent creations (Music Is, 2016, and Impossibly Happy, 2019) have been driven by her own musical compositions arranging voices, instruments and movement.

Recent projects include: the duo musical collaboration Tortues Vapeur, with Montreal turntablist, Martin Tétreault, mixing turntables, electronics, synthesizers, vocals and objects. (releasing their first disk on on DAME’s Mikroclimat label in 2019); a duo with Belgian bassist, Peter Jacquemyn; touring performances with the French trio Rrève Sélavy (Frédéric BBriet, double bass; Nicolas Pointard, drums; and Christophe Rocher, clarinettes); and unPacked,  the first project with her trio with Toronto/Tkaronto musicians Tania Gill (piano) and Kayla Milmine (soprano saxophone), where Susanna is performer, bandleader, arranger and choreographer for a suite of songs by the late American poet, Judith Malina and the late American jazz composer, Steve Lacy. unPacked will be released as a recording in early 2024 on Quebec’s DAME/Ambiance Magnétique label. Recent concerts of note include both the Suonil per Il Popolo Festival in Montreal and the Something Else! Festival in Hamilton in June 2023 and an upcoming presentation at the Guelph International Jazz Festival in September 2023.

Since 2004, Susanna has been teaching improvisation, composition, and voice and movement synthesis in various institutions and through independent workshops across Canada, internationally and online, including: The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre (ON, CAN), T.O. Love-In (ON, CAN), l’École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal (QC, CAN), Studio 303 (QC, CAN), TransFormation (QC, CAN), L’École de Danse de Québec (QC, CAN), l’Artère (QC, CAN), Crimson Coast Dance Society (BC, CAN), Mascall Dance (BC, CAN), Istanbul International Festival of Improvisation (Istanbul, Turkey), Le Conservatoire de Brest (Brest, France), E.D.E.N. Studios (Berlin, Germany), and in Graz, Austria. She has recently joined the regular part-time faculty in the Department of Contemporary Dance at Concordia University, Montreal and at Dance Art Institute (formerly The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre), Toronto.

Since 2013, alongside founder Stephanie Skura, Susanna has become a teacher trainer of Open Source Forms, a practice fluidly expanded from and combining the principles of the Skinner Releasing Technique with the varied and developing practices of its teachers. In July 2023 she completed teacher certification in Emotionally Integrated Voice with her teacher of 20 years, Fides Krucker. Both of these practices lie at the core of her creative process which interweaves a concern with physical music-making and how both our physiology and our emotions can work together to create sustainable and intentional vocal and physical expression and communication.

Awards include the 1998 K.M. Hunter Emerging Artists Award in Dance, 2006 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance, and the 2008 Canada Council Victor Martin Lynch-Staunton Award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of Dance.