Earlier this week, Bronx resident and Emmy-nominated choreographer Jeremy McQueen debuted the world premiere of a groundbreaking new ballet and feature length dance film entitled “Wild,” which aired exclusively on BronxNet.
The ballet was broken up into four parts with the first part, “Overture” shown on BronxNet on Monday, Nov. 9. It will then be shown Thursday, Nov. 12 via www.blackirisproject.org. The additional parts of “Wild” will debut in the winter, spring and summer of 2021.
“Wild” is presented under his Black Iris Project (BIP), the only ballet collaborative of its kind in the country dedicated to telling stories about the Black experience and to providing a platform and safe haven for Black artists.
Inspired by Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s novel “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Wild” explores systemic racism and injustice through the real-life accounts of New York City youth who have grown up in juvenile detention centers throughout the city.
“Since its inception in 2016, at the core of BIP’s DNA, has been our commitment to telling Black narratives through ballet, using the art as a mirror to reflect the times and consistently intertwine themes of social justice in everything that we do,” McQueen said. “As someone who has worked to break through many doors in the world of dance, particularly ballet, I feel it is our duty as artists to be a catalyst for those that are unheard, unseen, and undervalued and I am committed to, now more than ever, dismantling those barriers through my art.”
McQueen was recently named a winner of the 2020 Soros Justice Fellowship from Open Society Foundations and is the only choreographer to receive this fellowship since its inception in 1997. He hopes “Wild” will inspire youth of color to pursue the arts, movement and music as well as educate audiences about how Black history relates to the modern Black journey.
“This fervent effort stems from the need to address issues currently plaguing our nation from civil unrest to systemic oppression to the societal ripple effects of COVID-19. In order for us to heal as a society, we have to expose the wounds that have historically been overlooked. With “Wild” specifically, which I view as a tough work centered around healing, we wanted to continue to uplift diversified voices while breaking down the ivory silos and pillars so that we not only have a seat at the table and our work on the table, but so that we ensure that the voices of the voiceless are heard and amplified.”
For more information on “Wild,” visit www.blackirisproject.org.