In 2013 award-winning choreographer Jeremy McQueen was dealing with much. Compounding his stress was the feeling of helplessness, having a mother diagnosed with breast cancer while being almost 3,000 miles away. During this time on a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he saw and fell in love with Georgia O'Keeffe's ‘Black Iris’ painting for the 1st time. Drawn to it's beauty and the dark plum and charcoal colors, the piece stuck with McQueen and he kept it with him in spirit. Fast forward 3 years later, during a major career transition period, haunted by Black Iris and the desire to do something bigger than himself, Jeremy founded the Black Iris Project. “I wanted to create something authentic.”
The Black Iris Project is a ballet collaborative and education vehicle which creates new, relevant classical ballet works that celebrate diversity and black history. Based in New York City, the project hosts a team of predominantly minority artists capable of delivering cross-discipline and wholly original works. Championing individuality, the collaborative harnesses the black community’s inherent creative spirit to encourage and inspire youth of color to pursue art, movement and music as an expressive outlet and a means for collective healing. In it’s inaugural year, The Black Iris Project has been awarded funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New Music USA and CUNY Dance Initiative.
The Black Iris Project will hold its premiere performances on July 27-28, 2016 in New York City, and is also preparing for it's performance as part of the Ballet Across America series at the Kennedy Center Opera House in April 2017. To stay up to date and read more about the Black Iris Project, please visit www.blackirisproject.com