About Stefanie Batten Bland
New York, NY
Jerome Robbins awardee Stefanie Batten Bland (CBA ’19) is an interdisciplinary artist who interrogates contemporary and historical culture; she situates her work at the intersection of dance-theater and site-sympathetic installation. She created Company SBB in Paris in 2008 and established it in New York City in 2011, when she was in residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Batten Bland is a 2020 commissioned artist by Baryshnikov Arts Center, Duke Performances, Oxford University, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, and EU Day for the European Union at the United Nations. She is a 2021 Toulmin Creator at Center for Ballet Arts at NYU, and is also currently a choreographer for American Ballet Theatre’s inaugural Women’s Movement Initiative.
Batten Bland’s work is regularly presented by La MaMa Experimental Theater, where she premiered her latest live work Look Who’s Coming to Dinner in fall 2019 as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival. Pre-COVID live commissions include Baryshnikov Arts Center, Ailey II, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Gibney Dance, The Juilliard School, Singapore Frontier Danceland, Spoleto Festival Italy, and The American Center for Art & Culture in Paris where she is a resident artist. Recent panel discussions include Dance Data Project, Black Dance Stories, and Corps de Ballet USA.
Known for her unique visual and movement aesthetic, Batten Bland served as Movement Director for Eve’s Song at the Public Theater and is currently Casting Creative & Movement Director for Emursive Productions. Batten Bland has choreographed for Guerlain Perfumes, Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton, SYTYCD-Poland, and the French Presidential Gala of Cannes in 2012. As a performer, she has danced with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal, among others.
Batten Bland received her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College, is assistant professor in Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, and lives in SoHo with her family.
Monuments, Landmarks, and Living Institutions
SBB is developing a series of work that explores our emotional attachment to monuments and landmarks in today’s social and political arena. Working with performers and performative materials, SBB’s work is centered around the act of permanence and transformation of cultural symbols through an aesthetic, political, social, and racial lens. Her areas of research include public art works, environmental treasures, and living institutions such as classical ballet. This range allows her to explore how we defend historical figures, mark and render territory accessible, define winners, and highlight what we consider to be societal beauty.
The City of See is an interactive installation that invites the public to move through a space of living structures and sculptures. In this space, spectators dialogue with proximity and are invited to create monuments of their own. How do we feel if we watch a creation we made transform or decay in front of our very eyes? How do we feel if we work together towards a common goal? The City of See reminds us we are all temporary, and asks us to identify how we choose to represent ourselves in today’s conversation of preservation — and why.