Tuesday, 21 March 2023 13:46

Interview with Paloma McGregor (2019)

Interview with Paloma McGregor (2019) HIDVL
Paloma McGregor, Hemispheric Institute Artist in Residence, sat down with Marlène Ramírez-Cancio to discuss her life trajectory and her work in the world of dance. McGregor's practice centers Black subjects through collaborative, process-based art-making, and organizing. A central piece of the conversation centers around McGregor's journey from journalism to dance. While studying journalism, she learned storytelling skills that she would combine with the creative practice of dance. As a member of the Caribbean Dance Company, McGregor's skills were nurtured by various teachers. She ultimately co-founded a dance company and made a conscious decision to pursue dance as a career. With Dancing While Black, McGregor has provided a space to express the politics of Blackness, a platform for community-building, and an intergenerational forum for dialogue among Black dance artists. She also talks about her 96-year-old father's community practices as a fisherman, which she felt proud to receive a cultural heritage and has applied to her work. Returning to her St. Croix, home of her forebears, for inspiration, Paloma developed Building A Better Fishtrap, a performance project rooted in the vanishing fishing tradition of her family. The project examines what happens when you leave your ancestral home: What do you take with you? Leave behind? Return to reclaim? Connecting the movement of community building with the movement of work, McGregor's art touches on the embodied archive


Paloma McGregor (b. 1974) is a Caribbean-born, New York-based choreographer and arts leader. As co-founder and Artistic Director of Angela's Pulse, McGregor has spent more than a decade centering Black voices through collaborative, "community-specific" performance projects. A former newspaper editor, McGregor brings a choreographer's craft, a journalist's urgency, and a community organizer's framework in the service of big visions. The daughter of a fisherman and public school art teacher, McGregor amplifies and remixes the quotidian choreographies of Black folks, reactivating them in often-embattled public spaces. McGregor's work situates performers and witnesses at the embodied intersection of the ancestral past and an envisioned future; for her, tradition transcends time. Paloma also facilitates technique, creative process, and community engagement workshops around the world. Alongside her choreographic work, McGregor founded Dancing While Black (DWB), a platform for community-building, intergenerational exchange, and visibility among Black dance artists whose work, like hers, doesn't fit neatly into boxes. Since 2012, DWB has produced more than two dozen public dialogues and performances, supported the development of 22 Black artists through the DWB Fellowship, and published the country's first digital journal by and for Black experimental dance artists


Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/280gb65q

Additional Info

  • Date: 2019
  • Location: (Hemi Office) New York, New York
  • Interviewee: Paloma McGregor
  • Interviewer: Marlène Ramírez-Cancio
  • Duration: 1:09:50
  • Language: English