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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Paloma McGregor
/ Angela's Pulse
info@angelaspulse.org | www.angelaspulse.org

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The Angela's Pulse inaugural Digital Journal offers a robust platform for virtual learning:
Dancing While Black: Black Bodies | White Boxes  

produced in partnership with NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and PURPOSE Productions with funding from The Surdna Foundation

(New York, NY - May 20, 2020) - At a time when many educational experiences have become virtual, Angela’s Pulse shares our inaugural digital journal, Dancing While Black: Black Bodies | White Boxes, a publication dedicated to the voices and visions of Black dance artists.

Experience the Journal at DWBjournal.angelaspulse.org.

Developed with HemiPress, Dancing While Black: Black Bodies | White Boxes is the collaborative effort of 33 contributors, editors, artists, advisors and designers including historian Dr. Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, choreographer jumatatu m. poe, writer and curator Eva Yaa Asantewaa, and icon Dianne McIntyre. The Journal is part of our ongoing efforts to amplify the voices of Black dance makers while strengthening our connections across geography and generation, and was produced in partnership with NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and PURPOSE Productions with funding from The Surdna Foundation. “This inaugural issue of Dancing While Black’s digital journal was born from collective visioning and laboring, two practices essential for building both a dance and a community,” reflects Angela’s Pulse Director and Dancing While Black Founder Paloma McGregor. Intentionally keeping Blackness at the center, the Journal explores themes of Black bodies, Black space and white boxes. As David Thompson writes, “[Blackness is] a term that was transformed by Black people during the 1960s into an idea that embraced the complex space of power, love, and identity.”

Dancing While Black: Black Bodies | White Boxes launched March 14th, 2019 at NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics with a reception and panel discussion featuring Journal contributors and editors. “Coming here is walking into love,” observed Dr. Brenda Dixon-Gottschild during the evening’s conversation. Watch the Live Stream of the launch event featuring writers Dr. Dixon-Gottschild and Maria Bauman-Morales, content editor Thomas F. DeFrantz and Editor in Chief Paloma McGregor in conversation at https://youtu.be/zFtu1-fauuI.

In the Journal’s introduction, McGregor goes on to write, “This journal is us, Black and centered, with white at the edges.” As iconic Black publications like Essence and The Root have focused on digital content, this Journal engages online audiences with dance as the lens for conversations around identity, tradition, taking up space and telling Black stories. As DeFrantz reflected during the launch event, “We’re not trying to write ourselves into a history that’s disinterested. We’re trying to write ourselves for ourselves.” McGregor affirms this reflection when she writes, “This formation, this coming together to collect ourselves, is an exercise of great will, imagination, trust, and courage. Though Black dance artists are currently receiving unprecedented opportunities in white spaces, we know from history, the news, and our own bodies’ fatigue, that these ‘opportunities’ are too often conditional and too rarely nourishing. How often do we get to simply be together – in all our clarity and contradiction, across generation and gender? And out loud!?” 

“This journal – like dance – is a practice, something we’ve gotta do a whole lot to get really good at it,” proclaims Paloma McGregor. We invite you to stay tuned for future iterations of the Dancing While Black Journal along with continued programming that centers the voices and movement of Black dance artists. As David Thompson articulates, “The cultivation of this space feels essential in a society where the current political regime wants to pull us all backward and has removed the Band-Aids that were meant to heal wounds, revealing that certain ideas and fears continue to scar our minds and bodies.”

For inquiries and interviews, contact info@angelaspulse.org.
About Dancing While Black

DANCING WHILE BLACK is an artist-led initiative that supports the diverse work of Black dance artists by cultivating platforms for process, performance, dialogue and documentation. We bring the voices of black dance artists from the periphery to the center, providing opportunities to self-determine the languages and lenses that define their work. Since 2012, DWB has produced the work of more than a dozen Black dance makers, supported 22 Fellowship artists in developing their practice and networks and gathered scholars, writers and artists to participate in diverse platforms that center their voices and build community. As the network grows, it has become imperative to invest in the leadership of these artists, so that DWB becomes community led. From 2019-2020, a cohort of past Fellows has continued to vision and shepherd a series of DWB activities as part of McGregor’s new North Star Incubator.

Dancing While Black operates at the intersection of aesthetics and organizing. Central to the work is building partnerships – with presenters, organizers, curators and artists. Over the past five years, Dancing While Black has established ongoing partnerships with BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center, PURPOSE Productions, Urban Bush Women and Junebug Productions.

Our partnerships are rooted in a mutual commitment to equity and serving the needs and visions of artists. In a field that encourages individualism, our work prioritizes community building.  We celebrate that there is a momentum building around shifting the dance landscape, and we are committed to help shepherd these efforts. Our commitment to equity requires our solidarity with others who are also doing the work.

About Angela's Pulse

Angela's Pulse creates and produces collaborative performance work dedicated to building community and illuminating bold new stories. Angela’s Pulse provides a home for interdisciplinary collaborations that thrive on both politics and play, and is 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 the sisters’ work.

About HemiPress

HemiPress is the Hemispheric Institute’s digital publications imprint, created to house and centralize our diverse publication initiatives. Using a variety of customized open-source digital humanities platforms, HemiPress includes the Gesture short works series, the Duke U.P./HemiPress digital books, stand-alone essays, and the Institute’s peer-reviewed journal emisférica, alongside interviews, Cuadernos, and other online teaching resources. It also provides state-of-the-art multilingual publication capacities and immersive formats for capturing the “live” of performance, as well as a digital “bookshelf” — the interface that houses all of the Institute’s publications and connects communities of readers across the Americas.

Digital photos available upon request.
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Angela's Pulse is supported by The Mosaic Network and Fund of The New York Community Trust, and a recipient of funding from Dance/NYC’s Dance Advancement Fund, made possible by the Ford Foundation. Paloma McGregor is a recipient of the inaugural Dance/USA Fellowship to Artists, made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and of support from The Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative which is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as well as the Ford Foundation and Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
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