About Stefanie Batten Bland
New York, NY
Stefanie Batten Bland (SBB) (CBA ’19) is a Jerome Robbins Awardee whose interdisciplinary creative practice is embedded in human relationships, the communicative choices we make, and how we fit into space and place. Her own company, Company SBB, was founded in 2008 in France while she was the head choreographer at the Paris Opéra Comique under the direction of Jerôme Savary. This intercontinental dance-theatre company situates its work at the intersection of performative installation, dance-theatre in cinematic, and live performance settings. The company is in permanent residence at University Settlement in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and is regularly produced by La MaMa Experimental Theater of New York City. SBB’s proscenium and installation creations have been commissioned by Ailey II, LaMama, Spoleto Festival (Italy), The Yard, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Singapore Frontier Danceland, TU Dance, Zenon Dance, Harlem Stage, Brooklyn Museum, and venues throughout Europe and Asia. She has created 16 dance cinema films that have been shown in international festivals from South Africa to Germany, and has created for fashion and gala campaigns including Louis Vuitton, VanCleef & Arpels, and Hermes. Her current credits include Movement Director for Eve’s Song at the Public Theater, Visiting Artist at Mona Bismarck Centre Américain of Paris and Choreographer for American Ballet Theatre’s Women’s Movement Initiative in partnership with Duke University. She has been featured in The New York Times, Bouger Magazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Europe Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine and Marie Claire. In July 2019 she will complete her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts with concentration in Performance Creation at Goddard College. She resides in SoHo, New York City, 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.