Company SBB // Stefanie Batten Bland
In Residence: June 26 to July 5, 2023; March 13 to 30, 2022
Company SBB // Stefanie Batten Bland’s work at the intersection of dance-theatre, film, and installation interrogates contemporary and historical culture.
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 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.
Company SBB // Stefanie Batten Bland returns to ArtYard in 2023 to incubate new work.