A MOTHER’S RITE is a ballet set to Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring composition, and will explore one mother’s journey through stages of grief after being thrust into the spotlight by way of her son's racially-motivated murderOn Saturday, May 12 from 2-6pm The Bronx Museum of the Arts will host a preview performance of A Mother’s Rite including a film screening about the creation of the work-in-progress, a “Letters of Love” writing workshop, Q&A with the creative team and a post-performance reception.

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2pm Welcome and film screenings of A Mother’s Rite process and Mothers of the Revolution 
2:30pm Letters of Love writing workshop
3 – 4:30pm Preview performance of A Mother’s Rite process and Q&A with The Black Iris Project’s Artistic Director and Choreographer Jeremy McQueen
4:30 – 6pm Tea on the Terrace reception with guest Chefs Henry Obispo, Founder and Director of Born Juice and Clifford Hunt II, Proprietor of Culinary Cliff, LLC

In 1955, Mamie Till Mobley made a decision that shifted the way the American psyche processes the murder of Black sons and daughters. In choosing to have Emmett's casket open and photos of her slain son's mangled face broadcast to the world, a mother’s grief—a Black mother’s nightmare—was made real for the world to experience. Sixty-two years later, the killing of Black bodies still plays in the quotidian and their mothers' mourning is laid bare for social witnessing. This work seeks to document, hold, and deal with that trauma. What does it mean to grieve with (or for) a society that stole your child? 

Thirty-seven minutes in length, A Mother’s Rite is a ballet set to Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring musical composition, and explores one mother’s journey through stages of grief after being thrust into the spotlight by way of her son's murder.  

The LETTERS OF LOVE workshop is a continuation of a 2017 Mother’s Day letter writing campaign developed by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and Mothers Against Police Brutality and is a letter-writing campaign to women who have lost their children -- both sons and daughters -- to police or state violence. We are calling on you to use the power of your pen and uplift our extended mothers with words of affection, appreciation, and support to ensure they are blanketed with love from their extended families across the nation. Each letter we receive will be delivered to a mother who's experienced such a loss, and select letters will be incorporated into future performances of Jeremy McQueen’s A Mother's Rite ballet.

Directed & Choreographed by Jeremy McQueen
Libretto written by Angelica Chéri
Portraits by Sophia Dawson
Assistant to the Choreographer - Courtney Celeste Spears
Music - “The Rite of Spring” Composed & Arranged by Igor Stravinsky. Performed by Anderson & Roe
Danced by Courtney Celeste Spears, featuring Christopher R. Wilson