Black Iris Project Celebrates Diversity In Dance

Searching for a group that highlights the Black experience through the arts? Look no further than the Black Iris Project.

Founded by choreographer Jeremy McQueen, the NYC-based ballet collective, composed of 20 professional dancers, works to promote Black-centric works and arts education.

“As a Black ballet-based dancer and choreographer, I’ve experienced firsthand the lack of diversity in the field,” McQueen says. “I decided it was time to create the environment I wish existed to allow Black artists to really explore and create new relevant ballets that reflect a 21st century Black voice.”

With three original productions set for its premiere season—Madiba, Brown Baby and a re-staging of Black Iris, the California native and his company are doing just that.


He says merely casting Black artists in roles traditionally meant for whites “doesn’t change the diversity conversation. There are minimal classical ballet roles depicting the reality and struggle of the Black experience.”

In addition to gearing up for its inaugural year, the ensemble is also preparing for its debut performance at the Kennedy Center Opera House in April 2017.

The show is part of the Ballet Across America series, which is being guest curated by American Ballet Theatre ballerina, Misty Copeland, and New York City Ballet dancer/choreographer, Justin Peck.

Sounds like The Black Iris Project is off to a tremendous start!

Learn more by visiting the official site at