BAC Artist Commissions
In September 2020, BAC launched a commissioning initiative to support seven artists in the development of new work: choreographer/ performers Stefanie Batten Bland, Kyle Marshall, Bijayini Satpathy, and Mariana Valencia, and music and multimedia artists Holland Andrews, Tei Blow, and Justin Hicks. Each artist received funds to create a project expressly for digital presentation.
“For the launch of BAC’s new commissioning program, we have identified seven remarkable artists from a variety of performance disciplines,” said Mikhail Baryshnikov, BAC Founder and Artistic Director. “BAC is thrilled to support these innovative artists as they transpose their creative visions to the digital space, and I have no doubt their work will reflect unique personal responses to today’s social challenges.”
BAC Artist Commissions made possible with generous support from Anonymous, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Howard Gilman Foundation, Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, and Jerome Robbins Foundation.
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Holland Andrews is an American vocalist, composer, improviser, and performance artist whose work is based on emotionality in its many forms. In their work, Andrews focuses on the abstraction of operatic and extended-technique voice to build soundscapes encompassing both catharsis and the interplay between dissonance and resonance to tell stories of the interior worlds of humanity.
Frequently highlighting themes surrounding vulnerability and healing, Andrews arranges music with voice and clarinet, harnessing the innate qualities of these instruments’ power and elegance to serve as a vessel for these themes. As a vocalist, their influences stem from a dynamic range of musical stylings including contemporary opera, free jazz, musical theater, as well as ambient, drone, and noise music. In addition to creating solo work, Andrews develops and performs the soundscapes for dance, theater, and film, and whose work is still toured nationally and internationally. Andrews has gained recognition from publications such as The New York Times, Uncut Magazine, Electronic Sound Magazine, NPR, and Pitchfork. Holland Andrews is currently based in New York City. Andrews also performs solo music under the stage name Like a Villain.
Stefanie Batten Bland
Jerome Robbins awardee Stefanie Batten Bland, is an interdisciplinary global artist who interrogates contemporary and historical culture. She situates her work at the intersection of dance-theatre and installation.
A 2020 commissioned artist by Baryshnikov Arts Center, Duke Performances, and 2019 fellow at Center for Ballet Arts at NYU, Batten Bland is also currently a choreographer for American Ballet Theatre's inaugural Women's Movement Initiative. She created Company SBB in Paris in 2008 and established it in New York City in 2011, when she was in residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center and began her current residence at University Settlement. Regularly produced by LaMama Experimental Theater, she premiered her latest work "Look Who's Coming To Dinner" at LaMama in fall 2019 for FIAF's Crossing the Line Festival. Her COVID commissions include the virtual global performance of EU Day for the European Union at the United Nations, a distanced film for Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and Works & Process at the Guggenheim. Known for her unique visual and movement aesthetic, she served as movement director for “Eve’s Song" at the Public Theater (Forbes 2018 Best Theatre) and is currently Movement Director and Director of Equity for the 2021 immersive production Life & Trust by Emursive. SBB also directs dance cinema films. She is regularly commissioned by dance and companies including Louis Vuitton and Hermes. Recent commissions include: Ailey II, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Gina Gibney Dance, The Juilliard School, Singapore Frontier Danceland, Spoleto Festival Italy, and The American Center for Art & Culture in Paris where she is a resident artist. Featured in The New York Times, Dance Europe, Brooklyn Rail, Marie Claire, Dance Data Project, TV 5 Monde and Dance Teacher Magazine among others, she will celebrate Company SBB's 10th U.S. anniversary in the 2021-2022 season with existing and new works. She received her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College, is Assistant Professor at Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, and lives in SoHo with her family.
Tei Blow is a performer, educator, and media designer based in New York. Blow’s work incorporates photography, video, and sound culled from found materials and mass media. He has performed and designed for The Laboratory of Dmitry Krymov, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jodi Melnick, Ann Liv Young, Big Dance Theater, and David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group.
He also performs as Frustrator on Enemies List Recordings. Blow’s work has been featured at Hartford Stage, Dance Theater Workshop, PS122/PSNY, Lincoln Center Festival, The Kitchen, BAM, The Public Theater, The Broad Stage, MCA Chicago, MFA Boston, Kate Werble Gallery, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Wadsworth Atheneum, and at theaters around the world. He is the recipient of a 2015 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Sound Design for David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group’s I Understand Everything Better. Blow is one half of Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, whose ongoing multipart series The Art of Luv is a recipient of the Creative Capital and Franklin Furnace Awards.
Justin Hicks is a multidisciplinary artist and performer whose sound and music work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Performance Space New York, The Public Theater, JACK, Paisley Park, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Highline, and The Institute for Contemporary Art (Philadelphia) among many others.
Hicks has collaborated with notable visual artists, musicians, and theater-makers including Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Cauleen Smith, Helga Davis, and is a member of The HawtPlates. In 2018, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work as the composer of Mlima’s Tale by Lynn Nottage (The Public Theater, dir. Jo Bonney). Hicks was born in Cincinnati, OH, raised in Lafayette, IN and is based in the Bronx, NY.
Kyle Marshall Choreography (KMC) is a dance company that sees the dancing body as a container of history, an igniter of social reform and a site of celebration. KMC has performed at venues including: BAM Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Joe’s Pub, Roulette, Actors Fund Arts Center, and NYC Summerstage.
Commissions have included: "Dance on the Lawn" Montclair Dance Festival, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Harlem Stage. The company has taught masterclasses and creative workshops at high schools and colleges including Bloomfield College, Montclair University and the American Dance Festival. KMC is a part of the MANA Contemporary Performance Residency Program, received a CHIRP residency from County Prep High School and is presently a 92nd st Y resident artist. Director, Kyle Marshall is a graduate of Rutgers University and a resident of Jersey City. He received the 2018 NY Dance and Performance “Bessie” Jury Award and is a NJ State Arts Fellow.
Bijayini Satpathy’s passion for Odissi was first groomed in Orissa and later honed in the famed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble after she was selected in an audition by the late founder, Protima Gauri, and became the solo debutant in 1997. She studied and perfected Odissi with Nrityagram as a performer, teacher, research scholar and administrator until 2018.
Considered one of the foremost masters of Odissi in the world, she began conceptualizing her solo work to choreograph and expand the form after 25 years of touring globally with Nrityagram. “She’s easily among the top five dancers I’ve ever seen in my lifetime” said Mark Morris. Hailed by The New Yorker as “a performer of exquisite grace and technique,” Bijayini Satpathy’s solo debut in the U.S., Kalpana, The World of Imagination, has been listed as one of the best dances of 2019 in the Dance Magazine. As Principal Dancer of Nrityagram, Bijayini has shared a unique partnership with Nrityagram’s Artistic Director and Choreographer, Surupa Sen, in all her original works in the last two decades and has contributed to them with her skill as a performer, scholar and designer. Her duets with Surupa Sen are considered singularly admirable and exemplary. Their duet Vibhakta was rated as one of the best dance performances of 2008 by Joan Acocella in The New Yorker.
Mariana Valencia is a New York based choreographer and performer. Her recent commissions have been by The Chocolate Factory Theater, Danspace Project, The Whitney Museum, The Shed, and Performance Space New York. Valencia has toured nationally and internationally in England, Norway, Macedonia and Serbia.
She is an LMCC Extended Life grantee (2020), a Whitney Biennial artist (2019), a Bessie Award recipient for Outstanding Breakout Choreographer (2018), a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award to Artists grant recipient (2018), a Jerome Travel and Study Grant fellow (2014-15), and a Movement Research GPS/Global Practice Sharing artist (2016/17). Valencia’s residencies include Chez Bushwick, New York Live Arts, ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Gibney Dance Center, Movement Research, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (OR). Valencia has worked with Lydia Okrent, Jules Gimbrone, Elizabeth Orr, Kate Brandt, AK Burns, Guadalupe Rosales, Em Rooney, robbinschilds, Kim Brandt, Morgan Bassichis, Jazmin Romero, Fia Backstrom and MPA. In 2019, she published two books of performance texts entitled Album (Wendy's Subway) and Mariana Valencia's Bouquet (3 Hole Press). Valencia holds a BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA (2006) with a concentration in dance and ethnography.
Emily Krouse, JC Dhien, Maria Baranova, Norbert De la Cruz III, Mahesh Bhat, Charlotte Curtis