Paloma McGregor 2013 - 2015 Artist in Residence

 Portrait
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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.

Working at the growing edge of her field, McGregor has been an inaugural recipient of several major awards, including: Dance/USA’s Fellowship to Artists (2019); Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Institute Fellowship (2018); and Surdna Foundation’s Artists Engaging in Social Change (2015). Paloma was a 2013‐14 Artist In Residence at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a 2014-16 Artist In Residence at BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a 2016-18 New York Live Arts Live Feed Artist, and a 2018 Movement Research NYSCA Artist-in-Residence. She has been nominated for the prestigious United States Artists Fellowship and the Herb Alpert Award. Recent support for her work includes grants from the New York Community Trust (Mosaic Fund), MAP Fund, Surdna Foundation, Dance/NYC, NYSCA and Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences.

Paloma also facilitates technique, creative process and community engagement workshops around the world. She toured internationally for six years with Urban Bush Women and two years with Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange, and continues to perform in project‐based work, including Skeleton Architecture, an acclaimed collective of Black women(+) improvisers with whom she received a coveted New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for performance in 2017.

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.

(updated bio, 2020)

Research Questions / Lines of Inquiry during Hemi Residency

  • After leaving your ancestral home, what do you take with you? Leave behind? Return to reclaim?

Dancing While Black | Black Bodies, White Boxes:

  • What is Black space?
  • What is white space?

Watch "Dancing While Black: This Body Knows Freedom — Story Circles on Organizing toward Vision in an Age of Resistance" (2017)

Watch "Dancing While Black: Black Bodies | White Boxes | Publication Launch" (2019)

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