The Americas film takes an allegorical approach to the theme of Chrysalis. It is called ‘Americas’ rather than ‘America’ or ‘United States’, to represent the diversity of the collaborators: Franco-American choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland is joined by Mexican composer Erika Vega, and her principal dancer, who can trace his heritage back to the Aztecs. This film, therefore, will explore Aztec rituals of birth and death. The principal dancer begins wrapped in silk and buried in snow. The choreography shows him freeing himself from layers of silk, rising from the bank of snow, becoming a fully embodied person - or is he a deity? The cinematography will experiment with binaries of light and darkness, being inside versus outside, and emerging. This is interspersed with the musician in a ruined abbey outside Oxford, under the gentle fall of snow. Indeed, the whole ethos of this film encompasses the idea of emergence, leaving behind former trappings to transform into something other--something grander and more complete.
Jerome Robbins awardee Stefanie Batten Bland, is an interdisciplinary global artist who interrogates contemporary and historical culture in dance-theatre and film. Based in New York City, she founded Company SBB in France in 2008 and is a 2020 Baryshnikov Arts Center and Duke Performances commissioned artist.
COVID credits: Online - EU Day for the European Union at the United Nations, distanced films for Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, ABT at Duke, and Works & Process at the Guggenheim.
Recent Live credits: Featured artist FIAF Crossing The Line Festival, Gina Gibney Dance Company, Directorial Team “Life & Trust” Emursive Productions, Movement Director “Eve’s Song” Public Theater, Choreographer for American Ballet Theatre’s inaugural Women's Movement Initiative, SBB is an assistant professor at Montclair State University for Theatre & Dance, received her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College and lives in SoHo with her family, where she grew up as the daughter of artists.
Erika Vega is an award-winning composer currently studying a PhD at the University of Oxford. She has received prizes from the Eighth Annual Jurgenson Competition for Young Composers at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the TACTUS 2017 Young Composers Forum in Belgium, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2017 National Composers Intensive and The Henfrey Prize for Composition 2019 at the University of Oxford, among others. She completed an artistic residency at Royaumont (2018-2019), writing music for dance, a collaborative relationship between composer and choreographer.
New York Unit
Director of Photography
Rachel Watson Jih
Stefanie Batten Bland
Oxford Alternative Orchestra
Music Recording and Mixing