Susannah Keebler is a dancer, choreographer, dance educator, certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and yoga instructor, with a BA (dance) from Bennington College, VT, USA. She lived and worked as a dancer for ten years in New York City before moving to the remote-rural town of Mallacoota, VIC, Australia in 2008. Currently she is a Master of Dance candidate at the VCA, University of Melbourne. She is inspired by collaboration, her environments, transformation, the revelation of imagination and the unexpectedness of both the every-day and the extraordinary
My creative interests are hugely influenced by the fact that I moved from New York, where I was embedded professionally in a lively dance community, to a small remote, rural fishing village called Mallacoota in Victoria, where there is very little dance in the daily culture. A lot of the art-making I had been engaged with was seemingly irrelevant in this context. Without a regular studio my practice changed, as I made dances in shared community spaces, my lounge room, and outdoors. Moving to Mallacoota not only changed my practice it changed my life and my values (and maybe my DNA).
I am interested in the capacity of dance to connect ourselves to ourselves, to each other, and to our environment. I make dances that reach toward, invite, and inform audiences, without compromising artistic inquiry and integrity.
I trace the provenance of my practice back from the American modern dance pioneers (maybe even vaudeville), the New York School of painters and poets, to mid-century and cross-disciplinary modern dance-makers, to the Judson church movement of the 60s. Many of my most predominant teachers and direct influences (Dana Reitz, Susan Sgorbati, Terry Creach, Cathy Weis, Daria Fain, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Larry Fagin (poetry), Jennifer Monson, DD Dorvillier, et. al.) came of age in the 70s and 80s in New York City, bringing us through the artistic climate change of the 90s, by relating body and imagination to the onslaught of technology and by practicing pluralistic beauty and activism in the face of loss. Now, I am growing roots here in Australia, which has connected me to Earth more than ever before.
I have a unique perspective as an artist and educator who has lived and worked in both large metropolitan centres as well as a remote, regional Australia. I have insights on the strengths, weaknesses, and singular offerings of those different places and environments, as well as how the needs of people in those environments are different. Where we dance matters and changes the art being made.