Stefanie Batten Bland


Site-specific work on the beaches of Long Point and Inkwell
Collaboration with The Trustees of Reservation of Martha's Vineyard

Date: Friday, September 29th at 3PM
Location: Long Point Beach Directions on Google Maps
More about Long Point Wildlife Refuge

Date: Saturday, September 30th at 3pm
Location: Inkwell Beach, OB
New York Times article about Inkwell Beach



Artist Statement

I stumbled The African American Heritage Trail upon my first visit to Martha’s Vineyard. It offers us a glimpse into the lives of those who arrived and thrived against all odds. Embarked is the first of several studies to celebrate these sacred spaces on the island and begins my research into the physicality around building landmarks. I am examining the physical and emotional residue created from their fabrication and destruction. The affirmation of cultural identity developed from construction and deconstruction, forced or due to decay. Monuments can define a community through physical presence. In this first phase, I would like to collaborate with a local landscape artist and build spatial trails in the sand to tell the stories of who embarked here before I did.


Stefanie Batten Bland | Jerome Robbins Awardee

Beginning in New York City, followed by over ten years in Europe before a return to Soho five years ago, Stefanie Batten Bland's career has taken a geographically circuitous path to her present stage as a Jerome Robbins Award honoree. Batten Bland is a choreographic artist and artistic director of Company SBB.  New York Resident Magazine in 2012 wrote “When it comes to tackling demanding subject matter, there are few choreographers as intellectually ambitious as Stefanie Batten Bland.” Through the dance arts, she creates performances rooted in community, highlighting the delicate threads that connect us to one another and to our planet. Based in interdisciplinary arts, Batten Bland constructs futuristic environments with installations ripe in poetic theatrical flavors that are emotionally driven.

In 2008, while head choreographer of the Paris Opera Comique in France, Batten Bland founded Company SBB so that she might better investigate the human condition and relationships within our natural world.  

Batten Bland is a 2016 Bessie Schonberg Choreography Fellow at The Yard, 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Artists Choice Awardee, Camargo/Jerome Foundation Choreographer for Zenon Dance Company - France, 2015 Alvin Ailey Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab Fellow, 2014 Joffrey Ballet Choreographer of Color, 2010-12 Baryshnikov Arts Center/Jerome Robbins NEW Fellow and is now among names such as Twyla Tharp and Robert Wilson as a 2016 Jerome Robbins Awardee for outstanding artistic integrity.

In addition to dances commissioned by the Second Avenue Dance Company (New York City), Modlin Center for the Arts (Richmond, VA), Zenon Dance Company (Minneapolis, MN), Transitions Dance Company (London), Alvin Ailey II Company (New York City) and Frontier Danceland (Singapore), Batten Bland's work for her own troupe, Company SBB, has been seen in the UK, throughout the USA, Europe, Caribbean and Asia.

Recent artistic residencies include NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Oakland University, Wayne State University, Spelman College, Santa Fe College, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Ohio University, Middle Tennessee State University, Guest Faculty at Ithaca College. In fall, she was the 2016 Guest Artist Lecturer at Rutgers University in Rutgers, NJ. 

While the majority of her creative efforts commit to creating site-specific installations that unite community with dance, music and visual arts, Batten Bland has created nine films that have been presented in international festivals in Europe, South America, the US and South Africa. She has also choreographed for Guerlain Perfumes, Van Cleef and Arpels, Louis Vuitton, SYTYCD-Poland and the French Presidential Gala of Cannes in 2012. As a performer, Batten Bland has danced for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Paul Frenak, Sean Curran Dance Company, Kraig Patterson, Georges Momboye, Cie Linga, Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal, Lar Lubovitch, Julie Taymor and Angelin Preljocaj. Currently she is completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts with a Concentration in Performance Creation at Goddard College in Vermont and teaches improvisation and contemporary partnering at the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. 

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