I started off life as Suzannah West growing up in Cornwall (England), where I discovered contemporary dance through the Cornwall Youth and National Youth Dance Companies. I went to London in 1993 to train at Laban, where I gained my BA (Hons) before joining Transitions Dance Company in 1997. I went on to dance for Scottish Dance Theatre with Janet Smith, and have since danced for Attik, Springs, Cathy Seago and Maiden Voyage Dance.
I returned to Laban (now Trinity Laban) in 2000 to study choreography at MA level under Ana Sanchez and Rosemary Butcher. I also joined the faculty, teaching technique and movement analysis. Other work has included being Rehearsal Director for BareBones and Maiden Voyage Dance. I had been developing my choreographic practice on the side of all that with small projects and commissions here and there.
I became Suzannah McCreight in 2007 when I married Derek, the ski intructor I met up a mountain in Switzerland! (Pronounciation tip - 'McCreight' rhymes with the number 'eight'). Since then I focussed on developing my choreography more. Now I happily juggle this with being a teacher, performer and mother of three. It's definitely not boring!
About my choreography: Movement, to me, is the way human beings connect through common passions, a shared pulse and imagery that captures a feeling or makes a statement. In dance-making, I use improvisation research to find the language of each piece I make. From this, the vocabulary grows. I think every work should have a point to make, whether poignant or lighthearted. Finding that point is, for me, the key to a piece having coherence. I like to find images that accentuate the point and weave them into the flow of the dance. I often look for the imagery that conjures poetically what the piece is about. This helps the audience connect with the movement and with the performers. I work with dancers as people, not just bodies. Even though I enjoy abstraction on many levels, there is always personal expression, theatricality and passion. In my process, I like to take dancers' own contributions and push them to the place I imagine the movement goes to in my mind's eye. I often try to combine what happens in front of me with what happens in my mind's eye. In themes for my choreography, I have had both extremely specific and open-ended briefs, but no matter what I make, I tend to find human themes, human concerns and the drama in relationships. Having said all that, my latest research into a simpler more open-ended relationship between dance and music is so refreshing and might be a whole new chapter. Meaning is simpler and the theatrical poignancy is less of a quest to me at the moment. Who knows where this will lead?... Perhaps to a deeper understanding of movment and falling in love with dancing again. I'm finding freedom again, and I like it!