Based on the life of South African anti-apartheid activist and humanitarian Nelson "Madiba" Mandela, MADIBA—set to award-winning composer Carman Moore's original score which premiered at Carnegie Hall in February 2015—will feature a cast of fourteen dancers. The production also features Yale School of Drama graduates, costume designer Montana Levi Blanco and projection/scenic designer Rasean Davonte Johnson.
BLACK IRIS, inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's Black Iris III painting and set to Felix Mendelssohn's "Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 66", was commissioned by the Joffrey Academy of Dance, and premiered on March 10, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois as part of McQueen's 2013 Joffrey Ballet's Choreographers of Color Award. The work honors the unique challenges of Black womanhood found in life, work, and even ballet, while also demonstrating the persevering human spirit. BLACK IRIS is inspired by and dedicated to Mary McQueen, Ann Tinsley, and Beverly Anderson, three Black women who to McQueen exemplify the perseverance, determination, confidence, and faith that is distinctively Black and woman.
BROWN BABY, is a collaborative thirty minute work for thirteen dancers created by choreographers Jeremy McQueen and Lauren Cox, and composed by accomplished jazz pianist Aaron Diehl for an six-piece musical ensemble that evokes the golden age of American jazz. The story begins in Munich, Germany, post-World War II at a time when jazz music was banned, and continues to post segregated Flint, Michigan during the late 1950s. The title of the piece refers to the term used to name children born to Black soldiers and white European women during and after World War II. BROWN BABY is inspired by the true story of Beatrice Reynolds, the daughter of the controversial interracial relationship, who went on to be one of the country's first Black mainstream fashion models. The ballet traces her unique journey as a young biracial woman struggling to embrace her identity.