PRELUDE Festival 2023
Stefanie Batten Bland
Saturday, October 14, 2023
Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center, 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA
A chat and conversation between Frank Hentscker and Stefanie Batten Bland about proscenium, immersive performance, and all the in-betweens in our new covid making times.
Content / Trigger Description:
September 2023 Dance Magazine Cover-girl, and Creative C2023 Creative Capital Winner and 2022 BAM Next Wave Artist, Stefanie Batten Bland Child of a jazz composer/producer father and writer mother, and raised in Soho when it was still led by artists, was clearly destined for a future in the arts. A global artist, Batten Bland exhibits a unique blend of African American flamboyance and European sensibility. Her work is situated at the intersection of dance-theatre, film, and immersive creations, with a focus on the interrogation of symbols in contemporary and historical culture. Undeterred by convention, the emotional content of Batten Bland's choreography is directly accessible; its social and philosophical message is visceral.
As artistic director of Company SBB, Batten Bland established the company in France in 2008 while positioned as head choreographer at the Paris Opéra Comique. Upon returning to New York City, she received the support of Mikhail Baryshnikov and his residency program at Baryshnikov Arts Center, where she continues as a resident artist. Before establishing her own company, Batten Bland danced for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Tanztheater Wüppertal Pina Bausch, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, Hungarian Pal Frenák and Ivorian Coast creator Georges Momboye.
Known for her unique visual and movement aesthetic, Batten Bland served as curator for the 2023 edition of E-Moves at Harlem Stage, movement director for Eve’s Song at the Public Theater (Forbes 2018 Best Theater) and is currently casting and movement director for Life & Trust Emursive Productions spring 2024 creation, as well as their performance and identity consultant for Sleep No More. Her article in Dance Magazine details her advocacy in immersive theater for performers, through costuming, character direction and lighting approaches.
She has created for fashion and lifestyle partners Fleur du Mal, Louis Vuitton, VanCleef & Arpels, Hermés, and Guerlain. Her choreography is currently in active repertory at American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey II, Transitions Dance Company in the UK, and Frontier Danceland in Singapore. Batten Bland has created 14 dance cinema films that have been shown in international festivals from South Africa to Buenos Aires and Greece to Germany.
Her latest dance film, Kolonial, has received thirteen US and international film awards, and was nominated for 3 Bessie Awards. Her work has been presented at the Park Armory, BAM, ADF, Lincoln Center Restart Stages, The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, La MaMa Experimental Theater and internationally at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Danse à Lille in France, and Tanztendenzen in Germany.
Awards include a New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project Production. A Jerome Robbins Award, six Jerome Robbins support grants, three Bessie nominations, a Bessie Schonberg Fellowship at The Yard, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Center for Ballet Arts Fellow at NYU, and Toulmin Creator at NYU Center for Ballet Arts. She has been featured in The New York Times, New York Times Style Magazine, Dance Magazine, Marie Claire, and Dance Europe. Batten Bland received her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College and is currently an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance and lives in SoHo with her family.
URL: companysbb.org IG: sbb_land