Paloma McGregor is a Caribbean-born, New York-based choreographer who makes Black work with Black folks for Black space. A former newspaper reporter and editor, McGregor brings a choreographer’s craft, journalist’s urgency, and community organizer’s framework in the service of big visions. Over the past decade, she’s used performance practice to explore how the body’s presence (or absence) can impel community-driven transformation in embattled public spaces. McGregor is co-founder and Artistic Director of Angela’s Pulse. Her work has been supported by Fellowships from Open Society Foundations, Dance/USA, Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Institute, and Surdna Foundation’s Artists Engaging in Social Change. She won a Bessie Award for performance as a member of skeleton architecture, a collective of Black women(+) improvisers. McGregor is currently developing A’we deh ya, a multi-year, multi-site performance project aimed at illuminating “abandoned” spaces, vanishing traditions and local visions in Christiansted, St. Croix, her hometown, where local organizers are battling disaster capitalism after the 2017 hurricane season. This is the latest iteration of her project Building a Better Fishtrap, rooted in her father’s vanishing fishing tradition and three animating questions she’s asked since leaving her ancestral home: What do you take with you? Leave behind? Return to reclaim?
Photo by Chioke I’Anson