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Billy Blanken founded Sheep Meadow Dance Theatre in 2016 as a medium for exploring movement through a socially engaged dance practice. The project creates repertoire ranging from site-specific performance art, film works and classical ballet. With exposure to a wide range of movement in his career, Mr. Blanken creates choreography that is theatrical, polished, and classically informed with a distinctly contemporary aesthetic. Sheep Meadow Dance Theatre addresses the rituals of performance and its value in contemporary society. Our mission is to provide the highest quality in dance theatre performance for all, regardless of economic background. 


SMDT has performed at the Dumbo Dance Festival, the Plaxall Gallery, Dixon Place, Peridance Center, Pennington Day, The Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, Brooklyn School of Music, No One Can Survive Alone Benefit, the LUNGS Dance Festival, The Moving Beauty Series, Sans Limites Spring Season The Dance Festival Lower East Side, The Hudson Guild Theatre, The White Wave Solo/Duo Festival, NACHMO, the Queens Museum, The Actors Fund Art's Center, Triskellion Arts, The Queensboro Dance Festival, among others. in 2022, they completed a year long collaboration with High Line String Quartet at the Irondale Center called “Tchaikovsky and More.”


 Mr Blanken presented his first full Season in the Summer of 2019 with Grant support from the Queens Theatre in the Park. With his collaborators Lauren Woods and 10KProductions, they created their “Living Dance Film” model during the Covid 19 Pandemic.  This model fuses live dance performance, interactive artwork and high quality video production. “Season 2- The Nutcracker debuted in December of 2020, and they presented “Sleeping Beauty” in June of 2021. Both were produced live at the Culture Lab in Long Island City Queens. 


In 2023, SMDT was awarded a Queens Council for the Arts New Work Grant to present “Season IV; An Evening of New Classics.” This Evening had two world debuts, a Neo-classical ballet to Gershwin and a dance theatre piece with an original score by Bradley Harris. 

SMDT has broken boundaries with innovative concert series, use of technology, and public programming and has been awarded superb accolades from peers and foundations.

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