a premier ballet collaborative that champions new Black-centric works and arts education

Founded in 2016 by choreographer Jeremy McQueen, The Black Iris Project is a ballet collaborative and education vehicle which creates new, relevant classical and contemporary ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history. Based in New York City, the project hosts a team of predominantly artists of color 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 held its debut season on July 27 & 28, 2016 at New York Live Arts in New York City.  Three original ballet works rooted in Black history were featured, highlighting a cast of predominantly Black dancers from world-class ballet companies. Most recently, The BIP was personally invited by American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, Misty Copeland to perform MADIBA, a new ballet tracing the journey of Nelson Mandela, at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Ballet Across America festival.

Click here to view the Black Iris Project's 2016 debut season program.


By harnessing the Black community's inherent creative spirit, The Black Iris Project 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 educating audiences about how Black history relates to the modern
black journey.  


The Black Iris Project's mission is threefold: create original ballets and arts education curriculums that directly address and celebrate diversity; provide a performance platform for Black artists to collaborate and share their personal stories with their respective communities; and provide ballet training to the Black community as a means of developing structure, focus and discipline through teamwork.