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Calvin Royal III, American Ballet Theatre

Calvin Royal III, American Ballet Theatre

 

VISION


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.  

 

MISSION


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. 

 

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Houston, Texas DEBUT


The Black Iris Project at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston, TX
August 16, 2019
8:30pm

For our Texas debut, Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project performed a collection of our most dynamic works including the world premiere of The Storm, a new ballet inspired by the Middle Passage, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey. Also on the program will be Black Iris, the collective’s signature work, inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Black Iris III, and A Mother’s Rite, a solo work set to Stravinsky’s iconic The Rite of Spring.

Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park is unique in the United States, offering an eight-month season of professional entertainment that is artistically excellent, culturally diverse and always FREE of charge to the public. This is the largest “always free” program of its kind in the country.

This was a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free tickets were available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30 AM-1:00 PM. The box office re-opened one hour before show time to distribute the remaining tickets.

As always, open seating on the hill.

For more information, click here.

Houston, Texas DEBUT


The Black Iris Project at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston, TX
August 16, 2019
8:30pm

For our Texas debut, Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project performed a collection of our most dynamic works including the world premiere of The Storm, a new ballet inspired by the Middle Passage, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey. Also on the program will be Black Iris, the collective’s signature work, inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Black Iris III, and A Mother’s Rite, a solo work set to Stravinsky’s iconic The Rite of Spring.

Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park is unique in the United States, offering an eight-month season of professional entertainment that is artistically excellent, culturally diverse and always FREE of charge to the public. This is the largest “always free” program of its kind in the country.

This was a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free tickets were available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30 AM-1:00 PM. The box office re-opened one hour before show time to distribute the remaining tickets.

As always, open seating on the hill.

For more information, click here.

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Repertory


Repertory


“Jeremy McQueen telling this story of Nelson Mandela and using dance is a great example of sharing a story of justice. Using art to share these stories is so incredible. It’s something that so many people from different levels of society and different backgrounds can come together and experience in a beautiful way.”
—Misty Copeland, Principal, American Ballet Theatre

 
A Mother's Rite

A MOther's

rite

A MOTHER'S RITE is a new ballet that explores one mother’s journey through stages of grief after being thrust into the spotlight by way of her son's murder. Inspired by countless Black mothers who have lost their children to police brutality and racially targeted violence, A MOTHER'S RITE is a thirty-seven minute solo set to Igor Stravinsky's iconic Rite of Spring musical composition. Directed & Choreographed by Jeremy McQueen and developed in collaboration with librettist Angelica Chéri, A MOTHER'S RITE features artwork by Sophia Dawson and performance by Alvin Ailey American Dancer Theater dancer and Princess Grace Award recipient Courtney Celeste Spears. A MOTHER'S RITE was co-commissioned through the The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Dance and Visual Arts Collaborative Commissioning Program and 651 ARTS, with additional support provided by Vineyards Arts Project. The ballet will premiered on Thursday, August 16, 2018, presented by City Park's Foundation's SUMMERSTAGE.

 
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Black Iris

 

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. 

 
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Black

Excellence

 

Travel back in time through an artistic revolution as The Black Iris Project presents BLACK EXCELLENCE. This visual guide of artistic explosion will take you on a journey through the Harlem Renaissance where social and cultural movements were expressed through the likings of artists such as Langston Hughes, Arthur Mitchell, Augusta Savage, Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others who have shaped the society we see today. Choreographed and directed by Jeremy McQueen, written by Savon Bartley with costumes by Mondo Morales. Commissioned by ConEdison and New York City's Town Hall, BLACK EXCELLENCE premiered on February 6, 2017.

 
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Madiba

 

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—features a cast of fourteen dancers. The production also features Yale School of Drama graduates, costume designer Montana Levi Blanco and lighting design by Alan C. Edwards. The BIP was personally invited by ABT Principal Dancer, Misty Copeland to perform MADIBA at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Ballet Across America festival in July 2017.

 
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Brown Baby

 

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.

 
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Engage


Engage


Boogie Down Dance Day
July 27, 2019
12-6pm

The Bronx celebrates National Dance Day, in the birthplace of hip-hop! Offering a day of free dance classes for youth and adults in a variety of disciplines ranging from hip-hop to ballet.

National Dance Day was created in 2010 as a day to raise awareness and to encourage Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity. Boogie Down Dance Day in the Bronx will offer free access to dance, supports diversity and inclusion, and encourages participants to celebrate the art of dance through movement. Launched by “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator Nigel Lythgoe, National Dance Day is traditionally observed each year on the last Saturday in July with activities taking place in Los Angeles, Washington, DC and other cities around the country. Boogie Down Dance Day in the Bronx will be produced by The Black Iris Project, in partnership with Lehman College and the CUNY Dance Initiative.

Spaces are limited. Click here to reserve your spot and learn more!

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Collaborators


Collaborators