Research Residency With Paloma McGregor

VCUarts Dance is pleased to host a Research Residency with guest artist Paloma McGregor as part of the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center fellowship program. During two residency periods this fall, McGregor will share work-in-process on August 29th at 12:00 p.m. and October 4th at 7:00 p.m., both free events at The Anderson, 907 ½ West Franklin Street.

Paloma McGregor is a Caribbean-born, New York-based choreographer whose work centers Black voices through collaborative, process-based art-making and organizing. A lover of intersections and alchemy, she develops projects in which communities of geography, practice and values come together to laugh, make magic and transform.

VCUarts Dance serves as a host site for the Urban Bush Women (UBW) Fellowship Program, a component of the evolving UBW Choreographic Center, a ten-year initiative to bring greater national recognition and support to women choreographers of the African Diaspora.

The in-process showings are contributing to the creation of a multi-year, multi-site performance project that is part of a larger effort, the culmination of McGregor’s work, Building a Better Fishtrap, that centers on locally-driven stories and visions for “abandoned” spaces across McGregor’s home island of St. Croix through embodied research and performance.

Since 2011, McGregor has been working on Building a Better Fishtrap, an iterative performance project that explores questions that emerged for the artist more than two decades after leaving St. Croix, her ancestral home: What do you take with you? Leave behind? Return to reclaim?

The project is rooted in the reclamation of her 93-year-old father’s vanishing fishing tradition. For the past eight years, through collaborative process and performance-making, McGregor has been working to draw connections between her father’s practice of building fish traps – so rooted in culture and function – and her art, organizing and being.

When the 2017 hurricane season devastated St. Croix, a US territory, help from the mainland was slow and inadequate. With disaster capitalism trying to take root., McGregor’s finds her island at a critical moment and intends to use her work to activate a call-and-response between colony and mainland, art-making and organizing, geography and body.

This iteration of Fishtrap is supported by the inaugural Dance/USA Fellowship to Artists, made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, as well as the Movement Research Artist in Residence program, made possible by NYSCA.

McGregor has created a wide range of work, including a dance through a makeshift fishnet on a Brooklyn rooftop, a structured improvisation for a floating platform in the Bronx River and a devised a multidisciplinary performance work about food justice with three dozen community members and students at UC Berkeley. Residencies include: 2016-18 NYLA Live Feed; 2014-16 BAX Artist in Residence; 2014 LMCC Process Space; 2013-14 NYU’s Hemispheric Institute Artist in Residence and 2013 Wave Hill Winter Workspace. Grants include: Surdna Foundation; Lambent Foundation Fund; MAP Fund and Dance/USA – Engaging Dance Audiences.

The presenting program of VCU Dance is committed to building and engaging dance audiences in the University and Richmond communities while providing opportunities for artists to present and create work. 2019-2020 residencies with Paloma McGregor and Christopher K. Morgan are made possible in part by a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Auditions for admission for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Friday, November 22, 2019
Friday, January 24, 2020
Friday, February 7, 2020
Saturday, February 15, 2020
Friday, February 21, 2020

For information on applications and auditions, click here.

Recognized by professional dancers and choreographers as “a place where things are happening,” Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Dance and Choreography offers a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere where students prepare for careers in dance.