Company SBB/ Stefanie Batten Bland
Company SBB // Stefanie Batten Bland’s work at the intersection of dance-theatre, film, and installation interrogates contemporary and historical culture.
Company SBB was in residence at ArtYard in March 2022 to incubate Embarqued: Stories of Soil and returns for a second residency to incubate Coup D’espace in the summer of 2023.
Company SBB will be in residence this summer to incubate Coup D’espace, Stefanie Batten Bland’s newest work. Coup D’espace is an immersive work that empowers us as a collective people to examine what moves us to overthrow/transform a space. In this work, nine immersive spaces cultivate group and individualized creative exploration that forecasts opportunities for new futures.
Spectators are invited to confront individual identity biases and value systems as either witnesses or participants in real-time performative tipping points in each space they enter. Coup D’espace is in conversation with current social political movements in our time and yet is also timeless.
As part of the residency, the ArtYard community is invited into Company SBB’s creative process through a building day and workshop, open rehearsals, and a culminating incubation performance followed by a talkback.
Watch a trailer for Coup d’espace here.
Embarqued: Stories of Soil
Company SBB // Stefanie Batten Bland was in residence at ArtYard in March 2022 as part of a partnership with Baryshnikov Arts Center in the leadup to the world premiere of Embarqued: Stories of Soil at Duke University in April 2022.
Embarqued centers around a performative ship mast that invites reflection and reveals post-colonial foundations and mythology. Interrogating existing relationships to memorials, the multilayered work calls up African ancestral stories integral to uniting our country, enabling us to viscerally and holistically connect our country both forward and backward in space and time and through soil itself.
Inspired by the discovery of the African American Heritage trail on Martha’s Vineyard — still a living, evolving memorial site — heroic stories of survival, loss, and resilience unfold through an integration of lighting, sound, textiles, and movement, each element complementing and adding to the rich layering of storytelling at the heart of the work. The lushly envisioned landscape connects people and places through a time continuum revealing post-colonial phantoms and the mythologies that still hold sway today.
Conceived and choreographed by Stefanie Batten Bland, Embarqued features an original score by Paul Damien Hogan, who created the score for Batten Bland’s acclaimed work Look Who’s Coming to Dinner, set and video design by longtime collaborator Emmanuel Bastien, costumes by Shane Ballard, and lighting design by Yuki Nakase Link. Embarqued is performed by Raphaël Kaney Duverger, Jennifer Payán, Rachel Watson-Jih, Latra A. Wilson, and David Lee Parker — all of whom have collaborated closely with Batten Bland on this project.
Company SBB // Stefanie Batten Bland held open rehearsals of Embarqued during the 2022 residency and collaborated in art-making experiences with community members and schools, specifically the making of individual flags and the exploration of how that cloth relates to their identity. The flags were on display in ArtYard’s courtyard.