Black artistry has changed lives and has demonstrated its potential to spark social change through its cultural pervasiveness demonstrated from the Harlem Renaissance to modern day hip hop. Jeremy McQueen’s choreographic work with his collaborative The Black Iris Project (BIP) highlights the accomplishments of Black professional ballet dancers, jazz and classical composers, and other creative artists through educational outreach efforts and the public presentation of new works inspired by Black heritage. With recent incidents of violence and police brutality against the Black community documented in the media, it is increasingly important for the Black community to continually be inspired and reminded of its unique spirit and strength.
Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project will develop a new evening length ballet entitled “The W I L D”, loosely inspired by Maurice Sendak’s 1962 Caldecott Medal-winning timeless children’s novel Where the Wild Things Are, and the accounts of New York City youth who have grown up in and out of juvenile detention centers. “The W I L D” will follow several young men of color as they struggle to break free from systemic injustices that permeate their communities. Transforming young mens personal stories into an artistic dance work for the stage, this cutting-edge contemporary ballet will also feature scenic design by Lawrence Moten, lighting design by Stacey Derosier, costume design by Andy Jean and performed to an original score composed by Amina Scott and internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Morgxn.
With “The W I L D”, McQueen will create physical movement to echo social and racial justice movements of the past to the present. This new ballet “The W I L D” will honor the history of Black bodies moving through space while encountering oppression through racism; including the the Black Lives Matter movement, which has unified Black and Brown Americans and shed light on the country’s visible apathy for Black genocide and systemic racism. This evening length contemporary ballet is a reclaiming of time, of unity, of space, of Black culture and of American history. “The W I L D” will premiere in Fall 2020.
Focused heavily on bringing its artistic works to communities that are deserving of social justice and educational reform, The BIP utilizes diversity to recognize that all backgrounds have a voice and deserve spaces to positively express themselves. McQueen believes that “The W I L D” will encourage and inspire youth of color to pursue art, movement and music as an expressive outlet and means for collective healing, as well as educate audiences about how Black history relates to the modern Black journey. Long-term, McQueen hopes that the creation & presentation of “The W I L D” will encourage our communities to utilize their distinctive and unique voices even more to push for social justice & racial equity throughout society. McQueen hopes that this new ballet & the presentation of artistic works will bring forth new voters and inspire communities to creatively advocate for positive change.
An original work composed by emerging Bassist/Composer Amina Scott and featuring; Kai Hammond (Sax), Jalen Baker (Vibraphone), Nathanael Smith (Piano), Leon Anderson (Drums). “Resistance” will be one of several sections in our new ballet entitled “MOVE[ment]”. This particular section will later be re-arranged for only three musicians.
Start and End Dates
06/01/2020 — 08/01/2021
New York, New York