Building a Better Fishtrap/Phase 2 program

Friday-Saturday, June 17-18, 2016 @ 8:00pm

Conceived, Created and Performed by Paloma McGregor

In collaboration with:

Installation Designer Vassi Spanos
Visual Designer Sara Jimenez
Sound Designer Everett Saunders
Video Designer Rosa Navarette
Lighting Designer Emma Rivera
Creative Collaborator Ebony Noelle Golden

Performance Guides: Jaimé Dzandu, Stephanie Mas (Saturday only), Ni’Ja Whitson (Friday only)
Video Recordings by: Ebony Noelle Golden and
Amara Tabor-Smith
Sound recordings by: “Paloma McGregor
(featuring elders in St. Croix, including singing by Will Thurland)
Music by :Philip Glass and Caetano Veloso

Technical Direction: Emma Rivera
Stage Manager: Courtney M. Escoyne
Stage Manager: Teri-Ann Carryl
Production Assistants: Sienna Fekete, Jessica Lee, Ezra Goh


Angela’s Pulse Team
Artistic Director, Paloma McGregor
Project Manager, Marýa Wethers
Marketing Manager, PURPOSE Productions


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Fishtrap/Phase 2 is the second full ­length iteration of Building a Better Fishtrap, a project rooted in choreographer and performer Paloma McGregor’s ongoing exploration of her 90­-year-­old father’s vanishing fishing tradition. This solo meditation reflects on the practice of remembering: What do we take with us? Leave behind? Return to reclaim? Through the process of navigating and transforming this collaboratively crafted world, McGregor encourages you to consider how memory inhabits us and what we can reclaim in the witnessing.

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 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 performed on and along the Bronx River. Slated for 2018, it recently won significant grant support from MAP Fund. The last iteration, 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.”




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.


Paloma McGregor (Director/Choreographer)

Paloma McGregor is a Caribbean‐born choreographer, writer and organizer living in Harlem. She creates embodied performance work that explores residue, ritual and magic. 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 researching and developing Building a Better Fishtrap in public spaces, non-traditional venues and theaters. Paloma was a 2013‐14 Artist In Residence at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics and became an Artist In Residence at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2014. She is director of Angela’s Pulse and founder of Dancing While Black. Recent support for her work includes grants from MAP Fund, Surdna Foundation and Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences. She 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.


Ebony Noelle Golden (Creative Collaborator)

Ebony Noelle Golden is the CEO and principal engagement strategist at Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, LLC and the artistic director of Body Ecology Womanist Performance Project.  BDAC is a New York City-based cultural arts direct action group that works to inspire, instigate, and incite transformation, radical expressiveness, and progressive social change through community-designed, culturally-relevant, creative projects.  The Houston, TX native is also an accomplished performance artist, poet, director, and choreographer who stages site-specific rituals and live art performances that profoundly explore the complexities of freedom in the time of now.


Sara Jimenez (Visual Design)

Sara Jimenez is a New York based multi-disciplinary artist. She received her BA from the University of Toronto (2008) and her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design (2013). Her practice explores memory, impermanence, and cultural identity. Residencies include Brooklyn Art Space (2014), Wave Hill’s Winter Workspace (2015), The Vermont Studio Center (2016), and the Bronx Museum’s AIM program. Exhibitions include the Pinto Art Museum, Rush Arts Gallery, and The Brooklyn Museum (Tatlo). She has performed at The Noguchi Museum and Dixon Place, among others. This spring, Jimenez had two solo exhibitions at FiveMyles Gallery and Wayfarers Gallery.


Rosa Navarette (Video Design)

Rosa Navarrete is video artist based in Los Angeles. She is honored to be working with Building a Better Fishtrap once more. Recent video projects involve Amara Tabor-Smith’s “STAND” (2016), “Chicanas, Cholas, Y Chisme 2016” promo video (2016), and Selah Gospel Choir’s “YES!” performance documentation (2015). Education: Inner-City Filmmakers, UC Berkeley, Integrated Movement Studies.


Everett Saunders (Sound Design)

Everett Saunders is the founder and creative director of Flux Innovations, LLC a digital media services company. Their recent clients include PBS, Sony Music, and Columbia Records. Saunders is a producer, composer, songwriter, and performer. He has specific knowledge and practice in audio post-production and multi track board operation. His work spans across genres with original compositions for numerous independent films and New York’s dance community, having premiered work at two notable dance venues Dance Theatre Workshop (“EGO” 2010), and Dance New Amsterdam (“Moments In Prayer” 2008) and Raw Material (“To Co-Exist” 2009/2011). Everett has also mixed, mastered, and arranged for the internationally acclaimed dance company Urban Bush Women (“Cool Baby Cool” 2009). Some of Everett’s latest audio editing work includes DJ Cassidy’s forthcoming debut album “Paradise Royale” on Columbia Records. “Paradise Royale” features collaborations from artists Cee-Lo Green, John Legend, Kelly Rowland, Mary J. Blige, Usher and countless others. Two currently released singles from the forthcoming album, “Calling All Hearts” and “Make The World Go Round” have charted here in the US and abroad. Everett is currently researching and developing soundscapes that include his extensive work in the world of 3D Audio, which can currently be seen as an installation at MoCADA Museum in Brooklyn, NY. Everett is an avid vinyl collector and musicologist, his love of sound has inspired a diverse palette of favorites ranging from Pharoahe Monch to composers Hans Zimmer and Ennio Morricone.


Vassi Spanos (Installation Design)

Vassi Spanos is delighted to be in collaboration with Paloma McGregor on Building a Better Fishtrap/Phase 2 at BAX. Vassi holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a MS from Pratt. In addition to her work in installation and production design, she is an art historian and international museum specialist.


Emma Rivera (Lighting Design/Technical Direction)

Emma K. Rivera is the technical director and resident lighting designer at Brooklyn Arts Exhange/BAX, and a technical director at Speyer Hall, University Settlement. She is thrilled to be working with Paloma McGregor on this iteration of Building A Better Fishtrap.


Jaime’ Dzandu (Performance Guide)

Jaimé Dzandu is from Hampton, VA. She received a B.F.A in Dance Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her co-choreographic work was recently selected to present for Dancing While Black: Dancing on Fertile Ground in New Orleans. She was one of the women choreographers selected to participate in Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Prototype Week. Her work has been presented at the National Black Theatre of Harlem, Bushwick Starr and New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center. Jaime´s work is personal and political in that it is rooted in creating and supporting healing, affirming, and liberating spaces for women and girls. She is a teaching artist for Preschool Rock! – providing quality movement and art programming for the Brooklyn community and Lower Eastside Girls Club. Jaimé is an Urban Bush Women BOLD facilitator apprentice. She has performed with artist such as Nathan Trice Rituals Dance Theatre, Roots and Revolution and Brother(hood) Dance. She bows in gratitude to her ancestors, family, teachers and friends that guide her along her journey.


Stephanie Mas (Performance Guide)

Stephanie Mas is a dancer and performing artist that resides in Brooklyn, NY. She has collaborated with Paloma McGregor and Fishtrap since January 2013. She is currently a company member with Urban Bush Women and serves as a facilitator and teacher for Urban Bush Women workshops nationally and internationally. She also earned her 200 hr yoga certification in Vinyasa yoga with Laughing Lotus and enjoys sharing and learning from her students. Many thanks to Paloma for continuing to join her in Fishtrap.


Ni’Ja Whitson (Performance Guide)

An award-winning interdisciplinary artist, performer and educator, New York based Ni’Ja Whitson, has been referred to as “majestic” and “powerful” by the New York Times.  Recent awards include an LMCC Process Space Residency, Bogliasco Fellowship, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Artist Residency, two-time Creative Capital “On Our Radar” award including being among its inaugural group, among dozens of other residencies and awards across disciplines. As a practitioner of indigenous and diasporic African ritual and resistance forms, they create work that reflects the sacred in street, conceptual, and indigenous performance. Proudly, they collaborate with notables in theatre, dance, visual art, and music including closely with Sharon Bridgforth and Douglas Ewart, and other leaders such as Dianne McIntyre, Oliver Lake, Edward Wilkerson Jr., Daniel Alexander Jones, Charlotte Brathwaite, Allison Knowles, and Baba Israel.  Ni’Ja Whitson is currently on faculty at the New School for Liberal Arts and is the founder/artistic director of The NWA Project.




Special thanks to Tiffany Brown, Brittany Williams, Marya and the incredibly supportive BAX family, my fellow BAX AIRS, Materials for the Arts, Patricia McGregor, Angela McGregor, Oscar McGregor, Marjani Forte, Nia Love, Jawole Zollar, Janis Matthews, Jessica Lee, Kofi Young-Spivey, Olamina, and all my collaborators who helped bring this vision to life.




This work was created, in part, through the Artist in Residence Program at BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange. BAX’s Artist Services Programs receive generous funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.



This project has received significant grant and residency support from Dance Exchange, Earthdance, Foundation for Contemporary Art, Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics (NYU), iLAND, Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Wave Hill.



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