Stefanie Batten Bland
New York, NY
Child of a jazz composer/producer father and writer mother, and raised in Soho when it was still led by artists, Stefanie Batten Bland is a global artist who exhibits a unique blend of African American flamboyance and European sensibility. Her work is situated at the intersection of dance-theater, film, and installation, 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. Batten Bland established Company SBB 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 Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, Hungarian Pál Frenák, and Ivorian creator Georges Momboye. Her work has been presented at BAM, Lincoln Center’s Restart Stages, the Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and internationally at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Danse à Lille in France, and Tanztendenzen in Germany. In 2021, Batten Bland was awarded a New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project Production Grant for her work Embarqued: Stories of Soil, which premiered at Duke Performances in April 2022. Other awards include a Jerome Robbins Award, Bessie Schonberg Fellowship at the Yard, and Toulmin Creator at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. She has been featured in The New York Times, 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. She lives in Soho with her family.
Photo by JC Dhien.
Child of a jazz composer/producer father and writer mother, and raised in Soho, Stefanie Batten Bland exhibits a unique blend of African American flamboyance and European sensibility.Artist Bio
Housed under the big top, Spaces (TBC) continues Stefanie Batten Bland’s work and research in historical human exhibition and spatial separation. A large-scale multidisciplinary work, Spaces will expand upon Company SBB’s immersive physical-theater practice and is based in observation, with audience as both onlookers and participants, nestled under the soft, penetrable walls of a tent. In our park, which can exist in both indoor and outdoor settings, choice and behavior center our shared stories of identity and the many journeys we make in a lifetime. This work examines human behaviors and the way different people navigate within changing spaces to reveal structural systems in which our individual identity biases are explored, struggled with, or maintained. The ordinary is the extraordinary as each soft, flowing material sectional is created to explore sociopolitical issues. Participants, grounded in free will, visit a series of scenes where physical, sonic, full worlds unfold—leading us to explore our own kinetic empathy toward self and our contemporary color narratives.