Building a Better Fishtrap/Phase 2

Choreographed and Performed by Paloma McGregor

In collaboration with visual artist Sara Jimenez, installation designer Vassi Spanos and sound designer Everett Saunders


Friday-Saturday, June 17-18, 2016 @ 8:00pm
Tickets: $16 General, $10 Low-Income [Buy]
Limited seating


Building a Better Fishtrap/Phase 2 is a solo meditation on the practice of remembering: What do we take with us? Leave behind? Return to reclaim? Choreographer and performer Paloma McGregor navigates and transforms a world crafted in collaboration with visual artist Sara Jimenez, installation designer Vassi Spanos and sound designer Everett Saunders. Through  this process she encourages us to consider how memory inhabits us and what we can reclaim in the witnessing.

Fishtrap/Phase 2 is the second full-length iteration of Building a Better Fishtrap, a project rooted in McGregor’s ongoing exploration of her 90-year-old father’s vanishing fishing tradition. Building a Better Fishtrap/Part 1 premiered at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in 2015; in it, an ensemble wove a kaleidoscopic tale of relationships created and destroyed, and a young girl’s journey back to herself. “The work feels like a danced bedtime tale with dreamy happenings and archetypal, beloved characters who shapeshift form with ease,” wrote Eva Yaa Asantewaa on InfiniteBody, “it works best by leaving ample room for your own imaginings and feelings. Building A Better Fishtrap prepares and invites its audience, casting a spell that inspires trust [and] we fell into McGregor’s welcome with gratitude.”

McGregor and her collaborators — from a Grandfather in the Bronx to dancers in a studio on Governor’s Island — have spent the past five years exploring the body’s capacity to carry place, memory and experience with it in ways that can transform objects, spaces, collaborators and audiences. McGregor has also won support from the Jerome Foundation’s Travel & Study Grant to apprentice herself with fishermen in her native St. Croix; Dance Exchange’s Green Choreographers Residency to develop the her Fishtrap Method; iLAND’s residency to develop a collaboration with the Bronx River Alliance’s education director; and LMCC’s month-long Process Space residency to develop the theatrical work in a studio on Governor’s Island.

The resulting artistic work has been presented in such diverse settings as an abandoned nursing home, a floating platform in the Bronx River and St. Mark’s Church. Through this process, McGregor is forging a leadership role as one of a growing number of choreographers across the country whose work operates at the intersection of arts, community and activism. With each iteration, the hope is to deepen the connections collaborators and audiences have with one another’s legacies and the future of our embattled water spaces.

A forthcoming iteration, tentatively titled From the River’s Mouth, will be a performance installation along the Bronx River, slated for 2018.

Artist Bio

Paloma McGregor is a Caribbean‐born choreographer, writer and organizer living in Harlem. An eclectic artist, she has structured improvisation for a floating platform in the Bronx River, choreographed an Afro‐futurist pop opera at The Kitchen and devised a multidisciplinary performance work about food justice with three dozen community members and students at UC Berkeley. Since 2011, Paloma has been developing Building a Better Fishtrap, an interactive performance project rooted in her 90‐year‐old father’s vanishing fishing tradition. The work examines what we take with us, leave behind and return to reclaim. Paloma was a 2013‐14 Artist In Residence at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics and is currently an Artist In Residence at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange. She is director of Angela’s Pulse and founder of Dancing While Black. She also facilitates technique, creative process and community engagement workshops around the world. She toured internationally for six years with Urban Bush Women, and continues to perform in project‐based work with choreographers including Liz Lerman, Jill Sigman, Cassie Meador and Marjani Forte.

About Angela’s Pulse

Angela’s Pulse creates and produces collaborative performance work dedicated to building community and illuminating bold, new stories. We provide a home for interdisciplinary collaborations that thrive on both politics and play, and we are committed to developing timely performance works that provoke, inform and inspire. Co-founded by Paloma and Patricia McGregor, Angela’s Pulse was named for their mother Angela, an artist, teacher and activist who continues to inspire their work.

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