Alex Timbers and Stefanie Batten Bland to Receive 2016 Jerome Robbins Award
Stefanie Batten Bland, a choreographic artist and 2016 Bessie Schonberg Fellow is the Artistic Director of Company SBB. Alex Timbers is a two-time Tony nominated playwright and theater director, recipient of the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and two-time OBIE and Lortel Award winner, and co-creator and co-executive producer of the television show, Mozart in the Jungle.
Both will be presented with the 2016 Jerome Robbins Award at Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) on November 7, 2016 at an invitation-only performance beginning at 6.30.
Allen Greenberg, President of the Foundation, wrote, "For the excellence that they have demonstrated through their work, the directors of The Jerome Robbins Foundation are honored to acknowledge Stefanie Batten Bland and Alex Timbers with the Jerome Robbins Award."
In 1970, Jerome Robbins, a preeminent figure in the dance and theater world, established The Jerome Robbins Foundation with the intent to support dance, theater and their associative arts. Following the outbreak of AIDS, Mr. Robbins directed the Foundation's resources almost exclusively to addressing the AIDS crisis. Before his death in 1998, Mr. Robbins expressed his wish that the foundation again extend its resources to the performing arts -- dance and theater especially, but not exclusively -- including what developed into The Jerome Robbins Award.
"I would like there to be established a prize to some really outstanding person or art institution," explained Mr. Robbins in 1995. "The prizes should lean toward the Arts of dance and its associative collaborators but not necessarily be defined but that surround." Mr. Robbins cited many callings, from teachers and designers to choreographers and presenting organizations, enjoining the directors to award the prize only when warranted by the distinction of the person, organization, or project. Past recipients of the award include: New York City Ballet and Jennifer Tipton (2003); Brooklyn Academy Of Music and Mikhail Baryshnikov (2005); San Francisco Ballet and Twyla Tharp (2008); Robert Wilson (2010); Hal Prince, Chita Rivera, and Stephen Sondheim (2013); and The Paris Opera Ballet (2014). In 2011, the award was shared by 26 New York City Ballet former and current principal ballerinas, all of whom worked with Jerome Robbins.
Stefanie Batten Bland is a winner of many awards including the 2014 Joffrey Ballet Choreographer of Color Award; 2014/2015 Alvin Ailey Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab Fellow; 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Artists Choice Awardee and 2016 Schoenberg Fellow of The Yard. Company SBB is an inter-continental dance theater company that blurs physical definitions to create fully orchestrated worlds rooted in community, highlighting the delicate threads that sew us to one another as people and to our planet. In 2008 while head choreographer at the Paris Opera Comique, in France under direction of Jérôme Savary for the 5 year sensation "Looking for Josephine," Stefanie founded Company SBB so that she might better investigate our human condition. In addition to her awards her commission credits include Alvin Ailey II, Transitions Dance Company of London, Singapore's Frontier Danceland, twice for Zenon Dance Company of MNLPS, "So You Think You Can Dance" - Poland, Guerlain Perfumes, Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton, and for the 2012 French Presidential gala in Cannes France.
Christopher Pennington, Executive Director of the Foundation wrote, "Stefanie creates vivid, subtly feral work that investigates humanity and community. Through movement, light, and sound, her poetic and emotionally-driven creations explore our relationships to one another as people as well as our relationship with the world around us. The directors and I are pleased to recognize her imagination and artistic integrity."
Alex Timbers' Broadway credits include Rocky (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Director), Peter and the Starcatcher (co-director OBIE Award - Best Director, Tony nomination - Best Director), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (also book writer; Drama Desk Award - Best Book, Lortel and Outer Critic Circle Awards - Best Musical, Tony nomination - Best Book), and The Pee-Wee Herman Show (HBO). His Off-Broadway credits include The Robber Bridegroom (Lortel Award - Best Revival), Here Lies Love (Lortel Award - Best Director, Drama Desk and Outer Critics nominations - Best Director, London Evening Standard Award), Love's Labour Lost (also adaptor, Drama Desk nomination - Best Musical), A Very Merry Unauthorized Pageant (OBIE Award - Best Director), Gutenberg! (Drama Desk nomination - Best Director), and Hell House (Drama Desk nomination - Unique Theatrical Experience). In 2003, Alex co-founded the New York City performing arts space, The Tank. He is a former President of the Yale Dramat and created the downtown experimental theater company, Les Freres Corbusier.
Ellen Sorrin, Vice-President of the Foundation, wrote, "Alex Timbers is part of a new generation of writers/directors who pushes the boundaries of subject matter and artistic content. His work on and off- Broadway as well as his artistic leadership of the theater company Les Freres Corbusier and his participation as a member of the creative team responsible for Mozart in the Jungle speak to his commitment to breaking new creative ground. We are honoring his fertile mind and his team approach to creating new work."
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