DURHAM, NC: "Monuments" by American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Studio Company & Stefanie Batten Bland
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Studio Company & Stefanie Batten Bland
For two weeks in January 2019, contemporary dance-theater choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland hunkered down in the Rubenstein Arts Center’s airy state-of-the-art “Dance Cube” studio with the American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT’s) Studio Company, the organization’s pre-professional program made up of twelve young adult dancers. Commissioned to create a three-part ballet for the company as part of ABT’s Women’s Movement initiative, Batten Bland guided the dancers through improvisational prompts to build a short work exploring the literal and theoretical realms of monuments: how they are constructed, deactivated, and repurposed, within and outside ballet.
This season, local audiences will again have the rare opportunity to observe Batten Bland’s work-in-progress as the Studio Company’s second of three Duke residencies — the creative core of Duke’s unprecedented three-year collaboration with ABT — culminates in a series of public showings of the second part in a half-evening-length ballet that will have its world premiere at Duke in March 2021.
The American Ballet Theatre residency is made possible, in part, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Jenny L. Semans Koortbojian Trust in coordination with Duke Arts—Office of the Vice Provost of the Arts. The 2019/20 season's "Ballet Futures" initiative is made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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