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Stefanie Batten Bland

Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance

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Assistant Professor Theatre & Dance Department, College of Arts
Specialty: Dance-Theatre, Physical Theatre, Immersive Theatre, Dance-Cinema

2023 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 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.

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 movement director for Eve’s Song at the Public Theater (Forbes 2018 Best Theater) and is currently casting and movement director for Emursive Productions, 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 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 Grant for her work Embarqued: Stories of Soil. A Jerome Robbins Award, 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, 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. @sbb_land


Specialization Dance-Theatre, Site-Sympathetic & Immersive Theatre teaching modalities.



Research Projects

Embarqued - Stories Of Soil - World Premiere 2022

Embarqued: Stories of Our Soil
Embarqued, an installation based dance-theatre work rooted in monuments and memory.Centered by a performative shipmast that invites reflection and reveals post-colonial foundations and mythology in the United States. Interrogating existing relationships to memorials, we call up our African ancestral stories integral to making our history united, enabling us to viscerally and holistically connect our country both forwards and backwards in space and time and through soil itself.

Life & Trust - Performance

Casting and Movement Director for Life and Trust production by Emursive Productions.

Challenging casting bias and patterning within immersive European American productions. Offering alternative casting visuals and parallel stories to support diverse hiring policies. Directing and creating movement to support story narration.

#WelcomeToBirdland - Guidebook in Dance Theatre and Space Making Modalities

#WelcomeToBirdland, is a manuscript which will inform makers of all types. My intention is for this book to foster collaboration with creators in theatre, dance performance and visual artists who have a performative installation practice as well as artist-educators and students.

At the book's core, is emphasis in articulation, presence, and dynamic decision making. By offering integrated examples of dance, theatre training and theory to students the book offers a current preparation that is tailored for the dance or physical-theatre trends that my students will be encountering in the majority of today’s immersive and installation performing art productions.